Friday, March 6, 2009

Willard Jesse Brown (6/26/1915 - 8/4/1996)

I am going to show you what can happen when you don't give a player any love.

Some players don't respond.

They lose their drive to succeed in a sport that they are better than most at playing and it's a sad day on planet Earth when prejudiced, selfish, shallow people can disturb or disrupt a man from doing the job he was hired to do. All because he didn't have the same pigmentation the heckler did, OR the heckler didn't like the player JUST BECAUSE the player was black.

Willard Jesse Brown was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in February 2006.

He, like me, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

(From now on, it'll be unlike me...)

He began playing with Monroe Monarchs, a minor league Negro League team in 1934. He signed with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1936.

He played until he saw action in WWII in 1944-45. He hit more home runs than Josh Gibson, and out of respect, Josh gave Willard his nickname of "Home Run."

Then Jesse was signed to a contract by the floundering St. Louis Browns. (Wikipedia provides the info about Jesse's major league "cup of coffee.")

According to Wikipedia, Mr. Home Run struggled because of racism that was inherent in his new surroundings. His frustrations and the lack of talent on his team were cause for the numbers posted by Mr. Home Run.

After batting .179 in 21 games, he left the major leagues. Not before becoming the first black player to hit a home run in the American League.

That winter, he went to Puerto Rico and ha one of his greatest seasons ever, batting. 432, 27-HR, 86-RBI, in 60 games!!!!!!

He won the Triple Crown and earned the nickname Ese Hombre. (Which means 'That Man').

"That Man"/Ese Hombre, also won the Triple Crown in the 1949-50 season.

He succeeded because he GOT THE LOVE.

Whenever you are discussing statistics it's always brought up how there were questionable methods for keeping the stats. But those methods are never spelled out. So it makes me wonder, is that true or is this just another way of keeping facts from the public? Facts that would further disgrace the Big Leagues? A League that had a prejudiced Commissioner in Judge Keneshaw "Mountain" Landis. (That's some judge, huh?)

Teams wanted to get better, but Landis said NO because their method of improving involved African-Americans.

(thanks to Wikipedia for the facts on Willard Jesse "Home Run" Brown)

Kevin Marquez