What if LeBron James Played Baseball?: The Decline of African-Americans in the Major Leagues, Part 2

Friday, October 4, 2013
boy with blue cap

Photo by Alex Harris.

This is part 2 of a series by Howard Craft about the decline of African-Americans in baseball. Part 1 is here.

I began my career as a Red Sox, finished as a Yankee, and retired at thirteen a champion. Mini Well Park, Little League champion — it was a big deal.  We didn’t celebrate with champagne, but my grandfather owned a corner store so we had two fruit punch Capri-Suns or one orange Gatorade apiece waiting for us after our win behind the dugout.

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What if Lebron James Played Baseball?: The Decline of African-Americans in the Major Leagues, Part 1

Friday, September 13, 2013

I want my son to play baseball. I played it as a kid, and I learned a great deal from it: teamwork, patience, sacrifice, courage, humility, how to win, how to lose, how to handle disappointment. Yes, one can experience and embrace these virtues in a myriad of sports, but there’s something special about the way baseball teaches these lessons. One day you can hit a grand slam and win the game, the next day you can go 0-4 at the plate.

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Right Field Jail Blues

Sunday, August 11, 2013
Durham County Detention Facility

Photo by Frank Hunter.

Behind home plate at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, right of the Blue Monster between the Goodmon Field sign and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Company logo, in the shadow of the tower-tall courthouse that obscures it from the view of DBAP patrons, sits the Durham County Detention Facility. There, sleazy bails bondsmen, frustrated loved ones, pissed-off sheriff deputies, and prisoners of various offenses from drunk and disorderly conduct to murder go about their daily routines.

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Blue Monsters in the Bull City

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Blue Monster

Photo by Kate Joyce.

The Green Monster, a thirty-seven foot wall snatches home runs from hitters like a dragon gobbling up knights seeking fame and glory. It lives in Fenway Park in Boston. I’ve watched this monster vanquish many would-be heroes on Sports Center highlights via ESPN. Like most who prefer blue pinstripes to red socks, I’ve loathed the damn thing. But all monsters are not the same. The Green Monster has a blue baby brother approximately 707 miles to its south and I LOVE this beast.

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Baseball is for Lovers

Thursday, July 25, 2013
holding hands

Photo by Frank Hunter.

For some, marriage comes down to a point system. The more points you accumulate, the more get-out-of-jail-free cards you can acquire and the more you can avoid the confines of the doghouse. Point gaining and losing depends on the dynamics of the union, the spoken and unspoken rules of the people involved. It should be understood that the allotting and taking away of points is very much like some of the particulars of taking out a sub prime loan.

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Baseball After Trayvon

Monday, July 15, 2013
protest sign

I didn’t want to go. Don’t get me wrong; I’d looked very forward to coming to this Sunday’s game against the Gwinnett Braves. I looked forward to taking my son with me, who since our family trip to Panama two weeks ago has declared that he wants to be a baseball player when he grows up and lamented the fact that I didn’t take his tee-ball set with us to Central America. He is two. His eyes are bright.

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Bulls in Hats

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Howard and Bakari

Howard and his son, Bakari. Photo by Roni Nicole Henderson.

I sit in a sea of hats, mostly blue and orange, all displaying capital Ds with Bulls leaping from their center. So many hats, old, brand-new, mesh, wool, bent brims, straight brims, some worn in the traditional manner, some turned to the back or even sideways. These conservative, ostentatious, loud, quiet, unassuming, over-the-top and out-of-the box hats do more than represent the Durham Bulls baseball team.

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“Taking it to the Mattress” on the Paris Review Daily

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Photo by Kate Joyce.

Poet, playwright and Bull City Summer contributor Howard Craft has a new BCS piece up on the Paris Review Daily:

I’m eighty-one but I can feel like I’m fifteen when I’m talking baseball. It brings you back.
—Buck O’Neil, Kansas City Monarchs, Negro Leagues

The ball explodes from the pitcher’s hand like a bullet, but it’s high and inside. “BALL!” the umpire yells, and the batter takes his base. The Bulls have two men on with no outs, bottom of the seventh.

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Welcome to Bull City Summer!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

2013 is the 25th anniversary of the hit movie Bull Durham. Bull City Summer will cover all 72 home games during the 2013 season at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the results—in literary writing and art photography—will update the brand created by that movie for this historic minor league baseball franchise.

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