Saving Stories: Baseball Hall Of Famer Willard Brown And 100th Anniversary Of Negro Leagues

Aug 4, 2020

In this edition of WUKY's award winning history series "Saving Stories" Alan Lytle and Dr. Doug Boyd with the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the UK Libraries, discuss the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues.  Hear audio from a 1982 interview with Baseball Hall of Famer Willard Brown; a contemporary of Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and Satchell Paige, but whose major league experience did not last nearly as long.  Find out why in this edition of Saving Stories.  


Negro League and American League slugger Willard Brown was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006
Credit Public Domain

Willard was an outfielder in the Negro Leagues and played briefly in the Major Leagues. He was the first African American to hit a homerun in the American League, and also played in Puerto Rico. In 2006, Brown was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame. In this interview, he talks about his early career in baseball, his experiences during World War II, his playing for the Kansas City Monarchs and the St. Louis Browns, and his reasons for eventually leaving the Browns. He describes the effects segregation had on his baseball career and some of the frustrations that he faced due to discrimination at that time.