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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | February 6, 2004
Richard Dennis Powell, who brought the Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues to Baltimore from Nashville, Tenn., and later became the team's business and general manager, died of cancer Tuesday at his daughter's Glenwood home. He was 92. Mr. Powell was thought to be the last surviving executive of black baseball, from the days when the game was segregated, and was responsible for persuading owner "Smiling" Tom Wilson and Vernon Green, business manager, to relocate the team to Baltimore in 1938.
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com | July 11, 2009
Hubert Van Wyke "Bert" Simmons, who pitched and played outfield for the old Negro Leagues' Elite Giants and later became a Baltimore public school educator and mentor, died Wednesday after cancer surgery at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital Center. The Woodlawn resident was 85. "I believe that Bert was the last surviving Elite Giant living in Maryland, and that was because he played in the team's later years," said Shawn M. Herne, chief curator of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.
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FEATURES
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2004
Hubert Van Wyke Simmons has plenty of stories about his days as a talented pitcher and outfielder from North Carolina who was invited to Baltimore to play for the famed Elite Giants baseball team of the Negro Leagues. However, the last few weeks have been difficult for Simmons, a Woodlawn resident known to family and friends as Bert. He lost two close friends from his playing days with the Elite Giants. Ernest Burke, a pitcher and outfielder, died Jan. 31, and Richard Dennis Powell, who was responsible for bringing the team to Baltimore in 1938 and was later its business and general manager, died four days later.
SPORTS
By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,SUN REPORTER | June 5, 2008
At today's Major League Baseball draft, the Orioles' first selection will be an all-conference college pitcher named Bert Simmons. Simmons, a knuckleballer who lives in Woodlawn, won't be haggling with the club over a multimillion-dollar contract. He is a throwback to the days when men played the game for love, not money. There's a maturity about him that's unparalleled in baseball. The reason? Bert Simmons turned 84 last month. Simmons is one of 30 former Negro leagues players to be honored today by being selected in a ceremonial draft before the real thing.
SPORTS
By Doug Brown and Doug Brown,SUN STAFF | August 2, 1997
When Monte Irvin joined the Newark Eagles in 1939 as a shortstop, he received some pointed advice from player-manager Willie Wells during infield practice his first day."Monte, shortstop is my position," Wells said. "I'm not ready to retire, so your best spot is center field. With your arm and power, that's where you belong."While Irvin went on to a belated but successful major-league career as an outfielder that landed him in the Hall of Fame in 1973, Wells was spurned until this year.He will be inducted posthumously tomorrow in Cooperstown, N.Y., with two others chosen by the 15-member veterans committee, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda and the late Nellie Fox, a scrappy Chicago White Sox second baseman.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com | July 11, 2009
Hubert Van Wyke "Bert" Simmons, who pitched and played outfield for the old Negro Leagues' Elite Giants and later became a Baltimore public school educator and mentor, died Wednesday after cancer surgery at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital Center. The Woodlawn resident was 85. "I believe that Bert was the last surviving Elite Giant living in Maryland, and that was because he played in the team's later years," said Shawn M. Herne, chief curator of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.
SPORTS
By Bill Glauber | January 7, 1991
Bill Byrd was a pitcher who threw spitballs and a pioneer who helped pave the way for the integration of baseball.Others were more charismatic, and brought greater talent to the game, but Byrd was a seemingly indestructible master who became the symbol of the Baltimore Elite Giants during a Negro League career that spanned two decades.Byrd, who died Friday at the age of 83 at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was the fourth-winningest pitcher in Negro League history, with a 114-72 record.
FEATURES
By WAYNE HARDIN | July 24, 1994
There still might be a ballpark down there.Beneath the tons of dirt and landfill that rise up into a great flat hill off Old Annapolis Road once sat Westport Stadium, a baseball park where Negro League teams played."
NEWS
By Robert Hilson Jr. and Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF | July 10, 1997
Clarence S. Inman never said much about today's professional baseball players. He never questioned their high salaries or compared the talents of modern players to the skills of ballplayers from the 1930s and 1940s.He was just happy to see the athletes -- especially the black baseball players -- get the chance he never got.Mr. Inman, 80, who died July 3 of a heart attack at Bon Secours Hospital, played baseball for many years as a member of the Baltimore Elite Giants in the old Negro National League.
NEWS
June 29, 1993
Because of racism, his major league career didn't begin until he was 26. It ended prematurely 10 years later in a car crash. He spent the final 35 years of his life as a quadriplegic.For most men, these setbacks might have produced bitterness. But in Roy Campanella, it produced a role model extraordinaire. He helped shatter baseball's racial barrier. He was the preeminent catcher of his day. And after tragedy struck, he became a spokesman for the handicapped.On the ball field, he won Most Valuable Player three times; set a single-season record (for a catcher)
NEWS
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN REPORTER | June 3, 2007
Hubert Simmons spends a lot of time these days thinking about when he was one of the "Boys of Summer." At 83, he reflects on his days as a pitcher for the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro baseball leagues, which was created because the sport, like the rest of the country, was divided by race. He remembers pitching a one-hitter against the Richmond (Va.) Giants in the early 1950s. "That was my best game," he says. "On radio! We were on radio that Sunday." Simmons played against the Baseball Hall of Fame's Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Leon Day of Baltimore.
FEATURES
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2004
Hubert Van Wyke Simmons has plenty of stories about his days as a talented pitcher and outfielder from North Carolina who was invited to Baltimore to play for the famed Elite Giants baseball team of the Negro Leagues. However, the last few weeks have been difficult for Simmons, a Woodlawn resident known to family and friends as Bert. He lost two close friends from his playing days with the Elite Giants. Ernest Burke, a pitcher and outfielder, died Jan. 31, and Richard Dennis Powell, who was responsible for bringing the team to Baltimore in 1938 and was later its business and general manager, died four days later.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | February 6, 2004
Richard Dennis Powell, who brought the Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues to Baltimore from Nashville, Tenn., and later became the team's business and general manager, died of cancer Tuesday at his daughter's Glenwood home. He was 92. Mr. Powell was thought to be the last surviving executive of black baseball, from the days when the game was segregated, and was responsible for persuading owner "Smiling" Tom Wilson and Vernon Green, business manager, to relocate the team to Baltimore in 1938.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | February 5, 2004
Ernest Burke, a pitcher and outfielder for the Baltimore Elite Giants of the old Negro Leagues who became an anti-drug role model for young baseball players and students, died of complications from kidney cancer Saturday at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Pikesville resident was 79. One of the first black Marines to serve in the Pacific during World War II, he began playing professionally in 1946 for Baltimore's segregated team. He played four seasons here, then three more with the St. Jean team in the Canadian Provincial League in the early 1950s - one year attaining a batting average of .308.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | February 10, 2002
Sharing images clear as day, Ernest A. Burke seemed to have nothing but good memories of being a Negro Leagues baseball pitcher from 1946 to 1949, playing for the Baltimore Elite Giants. Burke, 77, spoke yesterday near an exhibit on the Negro Leagues at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, a display often on loan throughout the year, museum officials said. "We want to make sure [segregation] never happens again," said John Ziemann, the museum's community outreach coordinator. Burke's conversation cut through his athletic career including the rough patches and the chuckles over techniques for throwing knuckleballs, palmballs, sliders and forkballs.
NEWS
By James H. Bready | September 9, 1999
ONE BY one, the guys are leaving. Buck Leonard, Frazier Robinson, Leon Day -- this summer, Henry Kimbro, our Elite Giants' star center-fielder and leadoff man, died at 87 in his home town, Nashville, Tenn.By now, any former regular in the Negro Leagues must be past 70. As far as the records show, no player for the Baltimore Black Sox, who preceded the Elites, is still alive. Before long, there won't be any former Elites, either.What, if anything, will be their memorial?The very sites of their home games -- respectively, Maryland Park at Bush and Russell streets in South Baltimore, an interlude at old Oriole Park in Waverly, Bugle Field off Edison Highway in East Baltimore, and a final year at Westport Stadium off Old Annapolis Road -- are hard to make out. Each terrain looks very different now.Material objects are most scarce.
SPORTS
By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,SUN REPORTER | June 5, 2008
At today's Major League Baseball draft, the Orioles' first selection will be an all-conference college pitcher named Bert Simmons. Simmons, a knuckleballer who lives in Woodlawn, won't be haggling with the club over a multimillion-dollar contract. He is a throwback to the days when men played the game for love, not money. There's a maturity about him that's unparalleled in baseball. The reason? Bert Simmons turned 84 last month. Simmons is one of 30 former Negro leagues players to be honored today by being selected in a ceremonial draft before the real thing.
NEWS
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN REPORTER | June 3, 2007
Hubert Simmons spends a lot of time these days thinking about when he was one of the "Boys of Summer." At 83, he reflects on his days as a pitcher for the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro baseball leagues, which was created because the sport, like the rest of the country, was divided by race. He remembers pitching a one-hitter against the Richmond (Va.) Giants in the early 1950s. "That was my best game," he says. "On radio! We were on radio that Sunday." Simmons played against the Baseball Hall of Fame's Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Leon Day of Baltimore.
SPORTS
By Doug Brown and Doug Brown,SUN STAFF | August 2, 1997
When Monte Irvin joined the Newark Eagles in 1939 as a shortstop, he received some pointed advice from player-manager Willie Wells during infield practice his first day."Monte, shortstop is my position," Wells said. "I'm not ready to retire, so your best spot is center field. With your arm and power, that's where you belong."While Irvin went on to a belated but successful major-league career as an outfielder that landed him in the Hall of Fame in 1973, Wells was spurned until this year.He will be inducted posthumously tomorrow in Cooperstown, N.Y., with two others chosen by the 15-member veterans committee, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda and the late Nellie Fox, a scrappy Chicago White Sox second baseman.
NEWS
By Robert Hilson Jr. and Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF | July 10, 1997
Clarence S. Inman never said much about today's professional baseball players. He never questioned their high salaries or compared the talents of modern players to the skills of ballplayers from the 1930s and 1940s.He was just happy to see the athletes -- especially the black baseball players -- get the chance he never got.Mr. Inman, 80, who died July 3 of a heart attack at Bon Secours Hospital, played baseball for many years as a member of the Baltimore Elite Giants in the old Negro National League.
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