© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Author, poet, former Wildcat great Dorian Hairston on his tribute to superstar Josh Gibson

Ways To Subscribe
UK Now

Dorian Hairston was a hard-hitting outfielder for the University of Kentucky from 2013-16, batting .318 in SEC games in his junior year, and starting 31 games in his senior season. He also received numerous academic and community service honors during his time as a Wildcat. Now, he’s making his mark as a poet. His first book, “Pretend the Ball is Named Jim Crow,” published earlier this year, uses a collection of his poems to tell the story of baseball great Josh Gibson. With his poetry, Hairston gives voice to Gibson, his children, and his baseball connections such as fellow Hall of Famer Satchel Paige and Pittsburgh Crawfords manager Hooks Tinker, who is credited with discovering Gibson at an industrial league game in 1927. The poems address baseball accomplishments, life in the Negro Leagues, race issues, and tragedies in the life of Gibson, who became a widower at age 18 when his wife died giving birth to their twin children. Gibson himself died at the age of 35 in 1947, just three months before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Some of this interview covers adult themes - parental discretion is advised.