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Color Blind, the Blog

Hard Times 5

Bismarck car dealer Neil Churchill built his dream semipro baseball team at the worst possible time in terms of financial viability. He paid players out of his own pocket and they performed superbly...but the team had difficulty drawing steady crowds large enough to cover Churchill's cash outlay.

Many families strained to make ends  Read More 
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Hard Times 4

Some say North Dakota has yet to fully recover from the Depression. The state population at the time of the 1930 Census was 680,000. The 2010 Census count was 672,591.

Some 6 percent of the state's residents fled during the Depression. From April 1935 to December 1936 the short-lived federal Resettlement Administration provided grants to farm families eager to pull up  Read More 
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Hard Times 3

Symbolizing of the collapse of agricultural life in North Dakota, a farmer sits inside his empty barn near the town of Beach during the broiling summer of 1936.

photo by Arthur Rothstein courtesy of the Library of Congress
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Hard Times 2

Emma Knoll's farm in Grand County, North Dakota, dying of thirst because of the lack of rain and picked clean by grasshoppers. Photographed by Arthur Rothstein in July 1936.

photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
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Hard Times 1

Color Blind takes place in Depression-battered North Dakota, which makes the building of Neil Churchill's semipro baseball team all the more remarkable. The state got beaten to its knees by drought, farm foreclosures, and a multi-year invasion of grasshoppers.

Arthur Rothstein, who later became director  Read More 
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Standing Tall

With Color Blind hitting bookstores this week, why not celebrate with a toast to Satchel Paige, star pitcher of the Bismarck, North Dakota baseball team that is the focus of the book? Paige starred for lots of team in the course of his peripatetic career; perhaps as many as 100. He took two sabbaticals  Read More 
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Baseball and Barbed Wire

The Library of Congress is a dusty attic crammed with memorabilia and geegaws. In researching Color Blind I had occasion to rummage through the online annex of that attic, where I found a few wonderful surprises. This photograph is an example. Just another rec league baseball game, right? Not quite.

The game was  Read More 
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The March of Civilization

As far as anyone knows, Sitting Bull never played baseball. However, he killed his first buffalo at age ten so the man certainly wasn’t lacking in athletic ability. Color Blind is about the weave of baseball and history, the latter being where Sitting Bull fits into the story.

In the 1870s  Read More 
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Now pitching...John Philip Sousa

Sousa Band baseball team, circa 1902. Sousa, the pitcher, is seated front row center.

The late sports historian Harold Seymour - who was a batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1920s - coined the term “House of Baseball” to describe the multiple levels of the sport. Professional baseball occupied the top floor, with minor league and semipro ball hovering just underneath. (Color Blind is about the  Read More 
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Let the Blogging Begin...

The 1926 House Republican baseball team takes mass transportation to Griffith Stadium

What to do with all the cool, surplus research material that doesn’t make it into a book? You can’t hold a garage sale. Answer: Start a blog!

So here we are. This will continue only as long as I have photo out-takes and tidbits worth sharing. There should be enough goodies to  Read More 
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