On the outside, segregation and Jim Crow. On the inside, “only the ball was white”. Black players thrived during the zenith of America’s past time. Baseball provided entertainment, culture and business. Not to be left out of the game were Negro League umpires. Bob Motley late, Negro League umpire shares his experience along with his son, multifaceted artist, Byron Motley. From Sunday games to excited fans, Motley tells the story of game he remembers and loves.
This interview was recorded on April 20, 2016
Bob Motley passed away on September 14, 2017 at the age of 94.
Bob Motley and his son Byron take us to the ballgame, sharing memories and insight from a culture that thrived in the face adversity.
Highlights of the interview are included for convenient listening.
- Take me out to the ball game (1:00)
- A close play, “do it pretty for me baby!” (4:01)
- All-Star game, popularity (4:40)
- Financial impact of Negro League baseball (9:30)
- Church and baseball (11:00)
- International influence of the Negro Leagues (13:36)
- Off the field, in the military (23:48)
- Negro League Baseball Museum https://nlbm.com/
- Passing of a legend: Pioneering umpire Bob Motley dies at 94, Kansas City Star, September 15, 2017 https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/article173530016.html
- Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/discovery-and-publication?locale=en_US
- Byron Motley https://byronmotley.com/
- The Guiding Light, September 19, 1994, Sports Illustrated https://vault.si.com/vault/1994/09/19/the-guiding-light-buck-oneil-bears-witness-to-the-glory-and-not-just-the-shame-of-the-negro-leagues