The Kansas City Monarchs, the Chicago American Giants, the St. Louis Stars, the Birmingham Black Barons, the Homestead Grays, and the Indianapolis Clowns; for over 50 years, they were the Yankees, Cardinals, and Red Sox of black baseball in America. And for over a decade beginning in the late 1940s, umpire Bob Motley called balls and strikes for many of their games, working alongside such legends as Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.
Today, Motley is the only living arbiter from the Negro Leagues. His personal account of the Negro Leagues is a revealing, humorous, and unforgettable memoir celebrating a long-lost league and a remarkable group of baseball players. In Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars, Motley and his son Byron share the characters, adventures, and challenges faced by these amazing men as they enthusiastically embraced America’s pastime and made it their own. Filled with stories of talented heroes, small miracles, and downright fun, this unique memoir is a must-listen for any baseball fan.
Bob Motley, with contributions from his son Brian, recounts his days as an umpire in the Negro Leagues in this humorous and illuminating memoir. Though he shared the field with stars such as Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Willie Mays, Motley managed to make a name for himself with a flamboyant umpiring style that entertained both crowds and players alike. Richard Allen imbues Motley's reminiscences with a jauntily colloquial style that conveys the great fondness and joy he has for his past. Ruling over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars is a loving look back at one of baseball's forgotten eras.
“An important step in revealing what has been for most Americans a ‘hidden history.’” (Ken Burns)
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An Umpire Once Forgotten, Now Memorialized
- Tony E. "I listen to books on my commute at 1.75 speed. I like umpiring books, corny sci-fi, religious, history, and whatever catches my eye."