Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Book Review of Beyond the Shadow of the Senators : The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball

bup avatar reviewed on + 164 more book reviews

The Grays have a history that deserves to be known, of course, and the fans of Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Satchel Paige will get their desires met, but what makes this book more interesting than a "Meet the Homestead Grays" is the personalities of Senators owner Clark Griffith, Grays owner Cum Posey, and Washington sports writer Sam Lacy.

Griffith comes off the least well, but also the most interesting. It had never occurred to me (or apparently Shirley Povich and many other DC sports writers) that Clark Griffith actually used the Grays to keep the Senators afloat. During the war years and just after, the Senators were breaking even, whereas the Grays were putting $100,000 a year in Griffith's pocket. Griffith, one of the fathers of the bailing-wire-and-chewing-gum guide to MLB ownership, couldn't afford farm teams, and big salaries. His farm team was Cuba. His way of getting players was any-way-you-can but we have to keep the Negro Leagues going. He was a little old-fashioned vanilla racist, too, but the economic picture Snyder paints is fascinating.

Pretty much a must-read for any Negro League, Homestead Grays, and/or Washington Nationals/Senators fan.

Want fewer ads?