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marcy.rae

Integration Research Project

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Hey Tigers fans,

I am looking for any and all information, news links, photos, etc., you may have regarding the integration of the Detroit Tigers.

I am researching this topic for an intensive course I am enrolled in at Eastern Michigan. I am such an absolute fan, so I am really excited, but more importantly I want to make sure I get all the facts and details straight.

I am completely new to this forum and so far I have already learned a lot just from looking around on the site. I am so so so excited about this project and I welcome any help I can get!!!

Thanks so much in advance!

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There was a pretty good article about this in the Detroit Free Press awhile back called "Until Ozzie Virgil, Detroit one of last teams to allow players of color." It was dated June 17, 2008. Unfortunately it is no longer available online. If you have access to Freep's archives, you could read it. Here's the link to the archived version:

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?s_site=freep&f_site=freep&f_sitename=Detroit+Free+Press&p_theme=gannett&p_product=FP&p_action=search&p_field_base-0=&p_text_base-0=Until+Ozzie+Virgil%2C+Detroit+one+of+last+teams+to+allow+players+of+color&Search=Search&p_perpage=10&p_maxdocs=200&p_queryname=700&s_search_type=keyword&p_sort=_rank_%3AD&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date%3AB%2CE&p_text_date-0=

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You wanna get someone on a trivia question, here's one:

Who was the last MLB team to sign a black player?

Most folks will say it was the Boston Red Sox, with Pumpsie Green. They'd be wrong.

The Red Sox were the last team to field a black player on their major-league roster.

But the Tigers were the last team to sign a black player. That would be Claude Agee, who was signed in 1953.

Here's an excerpt from a great book on the subject:

http://books.google.com/books?id=pxKHntDzZC8C&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=last+team+to+sign+a+black+player+detroit&source=web&ots=1lBlpGQ_Bj&sig=Hzf-2YftI_R0WLOeNDv5rqVxyJI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA58,M1

Here is a good article on the issue:

http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=34

And, as pointed out above, the Freep did a nice article about Ozzie Virgil. Although the Freep took it offline, you can still access it as a cache file:

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:y82T58z5AtMJ:www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D/20080617/SPORTS02/806170388/+ozzie+virgil+%22Detroit+Free+Press%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for all the help!!

Between my own research, the resources ya'll provided me with and some other help I should be able to form a really good starting point for the project.

Now I know my next request may be completely impossible.. but I'd like to be able to sit down and talk with individuals that were around during the integration process... be it former players, employees, close sources etc.

I know that may be a stretch, but worth a shot?

Thanks!!! You have all been such a blessing so far

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You all have given me so much help!

I've found a bunch of primary and secondary sources about the initial integration ie. Doby and Virgil...

This is a 20 page paper.. which I might argue is no paper at all, but a small book. Regardless, What other players were a large part of the integration?

I'm 21... so I clearly wasn't around at all when all this was going on.. so I'm really hoping for some help from more established fans..

How did the media portray this? What were your personal takes?

Ya'll are an amazing source of so much info. I really can't tell you how much you have all helped me.

Thanks again!!

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Willie Horton debuted with the Tigers in 1963, four years after Doby put on a Tigers uniform. Horton was probably the first black star we had. I'm only 19, so I wasn't around then either.

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If you're including anything about how the Tigers followed up on their initial integration in those first few years, Horton is a good subject.

Check out Willie Horton's ghost-written autobiography The People's Champion. Maybe a local library will have a copy.

Link from the publisher's site: http://www.immortalinvestments.com/hard_covers/hc_willie_horton.shtml

Through his ghostwriter, Willie describes what it was like coming up as a black player through that era, and mentions a couple other black Tigers who befriended/helped/mentored him, second baseman Jake Wood and a veteran pitcher whose name escapes me at the moment.

Also through the ghostwriter, Willie also discusses the reasons why he briefly left the team in 1969, which was, at least in part because the team hadn't done much to continue incorporating black players into the team.

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The 1960 team was all-white and finished 6th. The 61 team almost beat the Yankees for the pennant and the town went crazy. For the first time they had 2 black regulars at the top of the line-up (Jake Wood, Bill Bruton) who were the table setters for Cash, Kaline and Colovito.

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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Earl Wilson the Tigers' first notable black hurler ?? He was a key cog for the late 60's teams.

And everybody in Detroit, regardless of color, loved Gates "Gator" Brown, that "big bonder" pinch-hitter extraordinaire.

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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Earl Wilson the Tigers' first notable black hurler ?? He was a key cog for the late 60's teams.

And everybody in Detroit, regardless of color, loved Gates "Gator" Brown, that "big bonder" pinch-hitter extraordinaire.

according to my research... you are absolutely correct : )

you guys have given me so much information.. so many leads, i don't even know what to do with myself.

thank you SO much!! not only for helping me with this huge project.. but also for educating me with the history of the team.

your contributions have been so immensely helpful.

keep it comin' if you have more to add though!!!

thanks : ]

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Hey ya'll!

my paper is basically done... rough draft is due tomorrow.. and the final on Dec 4th.

I feel really good about what I was able to find and the finished product thus far. So much of that is due to all of your help.. so thank you! so so much.

So.. if any of you were interested in reading it.. maybe handing out some constructive criticism.. that would be fantastic.

so hit me up if you want to and i would be forever grateful!

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Hey ya'll!

my paper is basically done... rough draft is due tomorrow.. and the final on Dec 4th.

I feel really good about what I was able to find and the finished product thus far. So much of that is due to all of your help.. so thank you! so so much.

So.. if any of you were interested in reading it.. maybe handing out some constructive criticism.. that would be fantastic.

so hit me up if you want to and i would be forever grateful!

I'm assuming your paper will be too long to post here, but would you be willing to post exerpts from it? Otherwise I suppose folks for PM you to get the whole thing.

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I'm assuming your paper will be too long to post here, but would you be willing to post exerpts from it? Otherwise I suppose folks for PM you to get the whole thing.

as of right now it's around 9 pages.. so it would be difficult to just post excerpts, most because everything is intertwined.

but yes, a private message would be just fine if you're interested.

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