For more than forty years, the Negro Baseball Leagues provided opportunities for Black American athletes to play professionally. We learn about these leagues with author, historian, and son of a NBL umpire, Byron Motley. This episode comes with a Learn-Along guide!

This episode comes with a free Learn-Along Guide that meets and cites US National Education Standards.

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This time on The Children’s Hour we learn about the Negro Baseball Leagues, professional teams made up of Black and other non-white players. Our guest is Byron Motley, author of Negro Baseball Leagues – A Memoir which chronicles the story of these leagues.

Byron’s own father was an umpire for the Negro Baseball Leagues. His father’s love of the game was passed along to Byron, who only understood as an adult what challenges his dad had to overcome to be included in the world of baseball.

Many legends of baseball history come from the NBL, including Jackie Robinson, the first Black player to integrate the Major Leagues. We learn about the oldest player to ever rookie for Major League Baseball at the age of 42, Satchel Paige, along with NBL players Larry Doby, and Josh Gibson.  

Satchel Paige

We’ve also got a poem from E. Ethelbert Miller’s book “If God Invented Baseball” and we hear some classic comedy by Abbot & Costello.

Mixed with great music!

This episode was produced by Katie Stone and Eli Henley. Chad Scheer was our live engineer. This program was recorded at Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA. Our thanks to Tom Guralnick at Outpost for sharing the space with The Children’s Hour Kids Crew. Our Learn-Along guide for this episode was written by Lorraine Archibald.

© 2024 The Children’s Hour Inc.

Playlist: Negro Baseball Leagues

All Kids Love To Play BaseballFrank LetoSongs For Special Days2010 Frank Leto
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball (Negro Baseball Leagues)Byron MotleyDid You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball (Negro Baseball Leagues) - Single2020 Byron Motley
Take Me Out to the BallgameDr. JohnBaseball - A Film By Ken Burns (Original Soundtrack Recording)1994 Elektra Entertainment, a division of Warner Communications Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.
We Shall Not Be MovedSweet Honey In the RockStill The Same Me2000 Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.
The Moon/Negro League BaseballBetween 9&73: FSHS/ It Is, What It Is2005 Coalition
Pitchin' Up a BoogieNat 'King' ColeHittin' the Ramp: The Early Years (1936 - 1943)2019 Resonance Records
Jackie RobinsonRonald 'Tyke' OliverBlack History & Black Heroes2014 Ronald Tyke Oliver
Baseball BoogieMabel ScottRhythm & Blues 1945-1951 - Music Sampler Vol. 12005 Gusto Records, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Roobie-Doby BoogieBrownie McGheeSavoy Blues 1944 - 1994This Compilation 2003 Savoy Records, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.
A Billion BaseballsGreen Chili Jam BandMagic Bike2007 Green Chili Jam/Newsound
HeartVarious ArtistsDamn Yankees (1994 Original Broadway Cast Recording)1994 Universal Music Group Inc.
Baseball ThemeVince Guaraldi TrioPeanuts Greatest Hits (Music from the TV Specials)2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.
MorningKetsaLive It2020 Ketsa Reiki Music
A New Day's Coming SoonElla JenkinsSong Rhythms and Chants for the Dance With Ella Jenkins; Interviews With ''Dance People2000 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Don't Look Back (A Song for Satchel Paige)Woody Mankowski, vocals and tenor sax/Bill Carrothers, piano/Mark Urness, bass/Dane Richeson, drumsThe Baseball Music Project2012 Fred Sturm
The EntertainerScott JoplinThe Entertainer - Classic Ragtime from Rare Piano Rolls2003 Shout! Factory, a Division of Retropolis, LLC
I'm Just MeCharley PrideThe Essential Charley Pride2006 Sony Music Entertainment
Poor, But HappyHoliznaCC0Busted Guitar2022 HoliznaCC0
Who's On FirstAbbott & CostelloWho's On First2007 Stardust Records
P Flunked FunkPodington BearThe Box Set2008 HUSH
Take Me Out to the BallgameSteve GoodmanNo Big Surprise: The Steve Goodman Anthology1994 BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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