Links & Reference



Read the reviews of Neil Lanctot’s book, "Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution" (University of Pennsylvania Press, $34.95).

If you are a baseball lover with an keen interest in history, this is a must read book. Highly recommended and perhaps the most comprehensive, in depth analysis of the Negro leagues!!!

Don’t just take our word for it... read the following reviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post's Book World, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, N.Y. Daily News, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a new book by Jadan Publishing Company, "Legacy Of A Monarch: An American Journey" by Jan Sumner offers a history not only of a black baseball player, but of an African American's journey through American history.

This book will introduce you to an exceptional man who lived during a fascinating time. Byron Johnson is the grandson of a slave who overcame financial and social obstacles on his way to a college degree and a life devoted to education and to making the world a better place.
Byron Johnson grew up in Little Rock, in a segregated society, getting a college degree at a time when many institutions of higher education were closed to minorities. He became a biology teacher and was so dedicated to helping young people that he turned down the first offer he received to play professional baseball.

Byron became a great athlete in the Negro Leagues, known throughout the baseball world for his peerless defensive skills. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs, alongside legends like Satchel Paige and Buck O'Neil.

Then, while still in good enough shape to play many more years, Byron left his beloved baseball career to return to teaching. He also served in World War II, fighting to protect the freedoms that his country did not fully grant him.

Byron Johnson spent his life striving for greatness, both athletically and intellectually, and striving to instill it in others. He was a pioneer, paving the way for African Americans to enjoy equal rights and equal opportunities. Without Negro Leaguers like Byron demonstrating the extent of their skills, Major League Baseball would have taken much longer to integrate. Without educators like Byron, our nation's young people would not have had desperately needed role models to mold their characters and challenge their intellects. I am grateful for his inspiring life.

President Bill Clinton
February 2005

Click on a book image for more info.

Look for these other great titles at your library, book store, or at

Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues edited Jim Riley (1994). Biographical sketches and statistics of over 4,000 players from 1872-1950.

Buck Leonard: The Black Lou Gehrig by Buck Leonard with James A. Riley (1995). The Hall of Fame and Negro League slugger tells his story. Carroll & Graff.

A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884 to 1955 by Mark Ribowsky. The complete history of the Negro League to date and fully illustrated.

Crossing The Line: Black Major Leaguers, 1947-1959 by Larry Moffi and Jonathon Kronstadt (1996). Biographical sketches of the pioneers after Jackie Robinson who were still relegated to racial taunts and cruelties but persevered. University of Iowa Press.

Fleet Walker’s Divided Heart by David W. Zang (1995). The life of Moses Fleetwood Walker, star baseball player at Oberlin College. Along with brother Welday, both of the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings, were the first and last black players in the major leagues until Jackie Robinson in 1947. University of Nebraska Press.

I Was Right On Time by Buck O’Neill with Steve Wulf (1995). Biography of Negro League great. Simon & Schuster.

The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History edited by Phil Dixon & Pat Hannigan (1994). Rare photos galore with accompanying text. 1992 Casey award winner.

The Negro Leagues Book edited by Dick Clark & Larry Lester (1994). One of the most comprehensive reference books on the subject with over 3400 player's yearly statistics accounted for. Also included are rosters, standings, team histories, photos and minor league records.

Only the Ball Was White by Robert Peterson (1970). The first real history of black baseball. Great players like Smokey Joe Williams, Buck Leonard and Oscar Charleston were finally recognized publicly with the leagues, the conditions and the relevant statistics.

Voices From the Great Negro Leagues by John Holway (1975). Excellent oral history with 18 players and one former owner interviewed.

A special ‘thanks’ to Mr. Wayne Stivers, whose vast collection of Negro League memorabilia was a major source of the photos found on this web site. His Negro League autograph collection was used as a primary source of reference for the book titled ‘The Negro League Autograph Guide’ [published by Krause Publications, 1998]. Call or email him for more info.