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    Negro League baseball exhibit coming to Laman Library

    6:28 PM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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    • Photo Courtesy: Laman Library
    • Photo Courtesy: Laman Library
    • Photo Courtesy: Laman Library
        

    NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- At the age of seventeen Ollie Brantley joined the Memphis Red Sox's of the Negro League Baseball in 1950. Ollie was a right handed pitcher from Marianna, Arkansas and was the youngest of nine children.

    Ollie was a very successful pitcher and by 1953 he signed with the Chicago White Sox minor league team and received a $15,000 bonus, at this time he was the only black player with the White Sox Organization. Ollie continued his career with the White Sox Farm System for seven years. Then from 1961 to 1969 he would play for the Minnesota Twins Organization.

    At one point in his career, Ollie joined the Willie Mays All-Star Team and barnstorm the countryside with the Mickey Mantle All-Stars. They would play 25 games together traveling to different cities, always offering the fans an exciting game. The stadiums were most often filled to capacity. These barnstorming teams would make more money in just two months than a typical Negro League team would for a whole season. After the 1969 season, Ollie retired from baseball and moved back to Marianna where he became a Deputy Sherriff in 1970.

    This reception will also serve as the official opening of our latest exhibit, Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Since 1993, this exhibit has traveled nationally to help bring the rich history of black baseball to hundreds of people outside of Kansas City. Discover Greatness features close to 90-framed photographs showcasing the history of African-American Baseball from the late 1800s-1960s.

    Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro League Baseball exhibit will be on display in the exhibit hall at The William F. Laman Public Library until August 24. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. (But closed on Sundays from May 26 - Sept.1.) Admission to the exhibit is free. For more information please call (501) 758-1720 or visit www.lamanlibrary.org

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