Letter: Do better by Bud Fowler

Letter: Do better by Bud Fowler

To the Editor:
Bud Fowler (aka John W. Jackson) deserves more than your brief announcement that he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame!

While statistics weren’t collected in his day (1858-1913), Fowler distinguished himself in several ways:

1. According to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, he was considered to be the best player on most of the many teams for which he played.

2. He was regularly attacked on racial grounds by teammates and opposing players but he never backed down.

3. A skilled second baseman, he played without a glove but with special shin guards against vicious high slides by opposing players.

4. In most years, his teams would yield to racial jibes and jettison him by mid-season, so he ended up playing for 12 different “white” teams.

5. He is thought to be the first Black professional player in history.

6. He could catch, play the infield, or pitch and did so at what was considered the highest level.

While Fowler was born in Fort Plain and died in Frankfort, he grew up in Cooperstown.

As a neighbor, pioneer and star, it is past time that he be recognized by the Hall of Fame and by The Freeman’s Journal!

Nicholas Cunningham, M.D.
Springfield Center

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