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Shadowball: Negro League Unis for Detroit and Pittsburgh

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This is a story that Buck O'Neil used to love telling:

In Pittsburgh on July 21, 1942, pitching against the Homestead Grays, Satchel Paige found himself up 4-0 in the 7th inning when he gave up a triple to Jerry Benjamin. Paige called in his 1st baseman (O'Neil) and told him he's gonna walk the next two guys to face Josh Gibson, who was, at the time, the most feared hitter in baseball.* He promptly issued four balls to the next batter, and then when the next batter, Buck Leonard, came up, Satchel called to Gibson over in the on-deck circle and said "I'm gonna walk Bucky here and pitch to you!" When Gibson came up, Paige announced "I'm gonna throw a fastball right down the pipe." He did, and Gibson watched it go by. Satchel called out again "fastball, down the middle!" And again, thinking Paige was trying to screw with him Gibson didn't swing: Strike Two. A third time: "I'm throwing you a fastball!" Satch threw, it went by Gibson's knees as he swung with late futility: inning over.


* Eat your heart out, Splinter


For much of the 20th century, to play in the Major Leagues you had to be white.

To play in the Negro Leagues, you had to be great.


Contained within are the uniforms for the Detroit Stars (Tigers at home) and the Pittsburgh Crawfords (Pirates away), as worn on June 12 this year (and every following year in your MLB2K10 dynasty if you haven't noticed yet), which is way back when only one of these teams was fielding a AAA squad and ANGRY ATHLETE-HATING GOD ran out of 2009 New York Mets and Iowa Running Backs and absolutely vital Michigan Wolverines to smite, and went back to picking on Joel Zumaya's arm and Carlos Guillen's legs and every non-deity Tiger position player hitting over .250.

So yes, the Tigers since all the injuries are suddenly bad. And people born after the Pirates' last winning season are graduating high school this year. This is why DonSpa et al. have given up on watching the real Pirates and takento using them as paper dolls (Next time you diss the Bucs, think of how many uniforms you've gotten directly due to the torture MLB puts these people through).



The Detroit Stars were one of the Rube Foster teams, known for awesomely named baseball greats like Turkey Stearns (above)(the greatest baseball player who ever lived that you've never heard of) and Bingo DeMoss. Plus Bruce Petway, the hardest catcher to steal on in baseball history (his arm was such that he threw to 2nd base from the squat and only missed if the ball came in so hot the shortstop dropped it).


As for the Crawfords, well, understand Pittsburgh was to the Negro Leagues what New York was to MLB in the '50s and '60s. Various Negro Leagues came and went. One of the biggest comers in the early 1930s was Pittsburgh's second team (the Homestead Grays were the first). The Crawfords were probably the first free agent monster. Some of the greatest players in the history of baseball wore the red of Crawford's (a restaurant in the black side of town for which the team was name), including Judy Johnson, Cool Papa Bell, and Josh Gibson.

Oh yeah, and from 1932-37 only the best pitcher -- probably the best Baseball Player -- who ever lived, and no this is not up for debate:


No, people, not Dizzy, the guy who Dizzy said is the greatest pitcher who ever lived. Thazright.

The files are called uniform_pip_away.iff (Pirates Normal Away) and uniform_det_home.iff (Detroit Home) but you can easily rename the files to fit in any uniform slot, e.g. uniform_det_cl1.iff to replace the classic Detroit uni, or uniform_pip_cl1.iff to stick it among classic Pirate uniforms. As usual, though, I highly recommend just getting Generic Mod Enabler because it is really easy to set up and then you can play Tigers/Pirates games with the like 100 different combinations available from this site.

I think I'm gonna make the KC Monarchs next, unless someone else has a set they'd like to see.

When Satchel Paige was retiring from his second career (the one in the Majors), a certain sportswriter after whom I have tried to mold my own writing career asked Satch to sum up his career. Said Paige, "Who's gonna straighten out 2,500 ballgames in my head? 'How many cow pastures you played on, Satchel?' they wanta know. How many bus rides you took? Who put the spike scars on your shinbone? Why is your feet flat? Who was it offered you $50 to pitch a triple-header that time?

"Man, the past is a long and twisty road."

Word, Satch.

Detroit Stars:


Pittsburgh Crawfords:


What's New in Version 07/31/10 12:01 AM   See changelog


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