Most people are not aware that Jackie Robinson was not the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. That honor belongs to Moses Fleetwood Walker, who played in the American Association (then considered a Major League) in 1884. Little is written about him, and what his life must have been like. Especially, coming close on the heals of abolition.
Probably even fewer know about Eddie Klepp(sp), the first white man to play in the Negro Leagues. Chuck Brodsky wrote and performed this fantastic song about a man who “should have ran the bases in reverse”:
About a decade ago, I wrote a noir novel about a dead beat dad who hitch-hikes on the run from the law to Key West to watch his son pitch against the Cuban National team. I named that character Eddie Klepp, as a nod to the baseball player. If the reports are correct and Eddie wasn’t an upstanding citizen, then I got it right in naming my character after him. If I ever find that manuscript on some thumb drive, I may just dust it off and release it. It’s not as good as Chuck’s story, though, so give it a listen.
My first novel Everything is Broken is available.
In print from Amazon.
Widely available in eBook.