Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Block Speaker Series to Present Talk on African-American Life

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Block Speaker Series to Present Talk on African-American Life

Article excerpt

As part of its The Block Speaker Series, the West Virginia Center for African-American Art & Culture will present "A Personal Perspective of African-American Life, featuring Burnwell native Gary Mays, at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at the West Virginia Culture Center at the Capitol Complex, Charleston. Mays, known as "The One- Arm Bandit, was born in 1935 in the coal mining community of Burnwell. At age 5, Mays lost his left arm in a shotgun accident.

At age 12, he moved to Washington, D.C., and attended Armstrong Technical High School, where he played baseball and basketball. In baseball, he was a power hitter, batting .375.

In June 1955, the Washington Senators baseball team held its annual tryout camp. During those three days, Mays was the best player in Griffith Stadium. In a camp-closing scrimmage, he threw out a base runner and hit the only home run and was unanimously voted camp MVP. …

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