Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues

By Paul Bauer; Frazier Robinson | Go to book overview

8
Canada

Winnipeg sent me a plane ticket, so I left my wife in Baltimore and headed to Canada. When I arrived in Winnipeg, the owner, a white fellow named Stanley Zedd, picked me up and carried me to the Mandalay Cafe. That's where he was based out of. Zedd went out of his way to make me feel welcome. He handed me a menu and said, "Get what you want." So I ordered and they waited on me. Then he said, "This is one of the places where you could eat. There are several places you could eat, but I think you'll find this is pretty nice." And then he said, "Whenever you come in here to eat, just sign the ticket. Sign the back of it 'Robinson,' and I'll take care of it." That's how he was. I'd just go in and eat, sign my ticket, and turn it over.

When I reported to the Winnipeg Buffaloes the next day, I learned that my old Elites teammates Butch Davis and Leon Day, who were playing for Winnipeg, had recommended me to their manager. That was great until I found out just who that manager was. The Winnipeg manager was none other than Willie Wells. As a player, Wells had been maybe the best shortstop around in the thirties. "The Devil," they called him. He would cut the palm out of his glove because he thought it gave him a better feel for the ball. The other thing that Wells did to his glove was to load the fingers with rocks. Then if you were sliding in to second, he'd step aside and slam you in the head with them rocks. He didn't just try to put you out at second; he'd try to put you out of the game. In the early 1940s he moved to the Mexican League and played several seasons down there. He was

-165-

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Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • About the Author vi
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: - Freedom and Fate, Baseball and Race xv
  • 1 - Back Where It All Began 1
  • 2 - Satchel Paige's All-Stars 21
  • 3 - The Kansas City Monarchs 51
  • 4 - From Kansas City to Baltimore and Back Again 77
  • 5 - War 98
  • 6 - The Color Line Falls 103
  • 7 - A Ballplayer's Life 128
  • 8 - Canada 165
  • 9 - Too Old to Play, Too Young to Retire 185
  • 10 - The Hall of Fame 209
  • Index 215
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