Behind the Barrier: Voices from the Negro Leagues

Behind the Barrier: Voices from the Negro Leagues

Be a part of the history and stories of Negro Leagues baseball as told by the players themselves. From broadcaster Ron Barr's Sports Byline U.S.A. archives with narration by former NFL player and actor Bill Overton, Behind the Barrier shares stories from some of America's most popular and exciting sports leagues directly from players like Hank Aaron, Buck O'Neil, Willie Mays, and numerous others.

Episodes

October 31, 2023 26 mins

The former Negro League players remember the greats from their days in the the league. Some names are familiar, some were even unknown outside of the local clubs they played for, and some like Satchel Paige are remembered by all. 

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Negro League baseball was drawing huge crowds due to its fast action style of play and its fan base. Major League baseball took notice and financial reasons were a large part of the breaking of the color barrier. As players started to migrate to Major League baseball so did the fans, and young talent in the Negro Leagues were signed to major and minor league contracts, marking the beginning of the end for Negro League baseball.

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May 1, 2023 16 mins

In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Of course this was cause for celebration across the Negro Leagues, however for many players it was a realization that they may never get their chance to play at the highest level due to imposed quotas, discrimination, and age. 

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April 4, 2023 21 mins

For many players the opportunity to play in the Negro Leagues opened up a whole new life experience in traveling the country. However, travel was not often easy, and simple things like food, lodging, and gas were hurdles to consider in the Jim Crow era.

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March 21, 2023 21 mins

Each player in the Negro Leagues developed into a professional player through different paths. For a lucky few, organized baseball helped them rise, however for most the love of the game, the ability to play many positions, and sometimes luck were the development path for most Negro League players. Common to all players was learning from the older veterans as a key to success.

Narrated by Bill Overton

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March 6, 2023 20 mins

In our first episode we look at the importance of the church and it's role in Negro League baseball. The church was important as a community center, a financial supporter, and a place to physically play baseball. The church was also was also a reason to dress in your Sunday best and head to a ballgame as long as the preacher finished in time!

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Mark as Played

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