Negro League author and historian Larry Lester has released the second volume of The Negro Leagues Book, the most complete collection of information on players from the Negro Baseball Leagues ever published. The book documents over 7,000 Negro League players, each with their year and team, dating all the way to the Civil War.
The Negro Leagues Book Vol 1, published in 1991, served as a guide through the Negro League’s past’s written record with a selection of brief essays, league and city history.
“ Before the internet came along, I used to go to the library every evening after work and look at Black newspapers in the (microfiche) machine. Every time I came across a box score or an article on sports, I made copies. I have file cabinet after file cabinet of information. It took me about 20 years,” said Lester, who serves as chair of the Negro Leagues Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research.
Lester says that Negro League baseball is a part of his DNA having grown up down the street from Municipal Stadium, home of the Kansas City Monarchs, and as a classmate of the children of Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.
His research into Negro League history began as a desire to disprove a notion made by his White colleagues that Black people didn’t record their history.
“My parents recorded genealogy. I found that many Black people recorded a lot during the early 1900s. Unlike White newspapers, the Black newspapers recorded birth announcements, weddings, and obituaries,” recalled Lester. “The White media has written Black people out of the history books and newspapers, so I thought it was my mission to exploit that.”
Lester was a co-founder of Kansas City-based Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM). He was instrumental in the Museum’s business strategic planning and incorporation in 1990.
In 1995, he left the NLBM to create NoirTech Research, Inc., where he maks the knowledge gained from his research on African-America and Latino barrier breakers in sports available at conferences, workshops, in oral and visual presentations, on panel discussions, and in visual presentations he prepares for other’s use at conferences.
A distinguished author, Lester had and has contributed to more than 215 books on African-American history, contributed forewords to several publications, and edited and fact-checked many doctoral dissertations. He has also worked as a consultant on many sports films.
Visit https://www.larrylester42.com/ to see more of Larry’s important work.