Clipped From The Evening Standard
on t National Leaving N.Y. Brings Back Negro Ball By HARRY GRAYSON NEA Sptrtx Edilw NEW YORK-(NEA)- Frank Forbes popped his head through the door talking faster than ever about Negro baseball. "I campaigned for 35 years to get the Negro r into organized s ' ball," s a i d t Forbes, a gray-1 i n g , bustling g man in the Â£ mid-W's w h o i r u n . s around j like an ambitious recruit. "And when Jackie /Robinson arid ' the Brooklyn club broke the bar- CEPEDA rier in 1947, they put me out of business." Forbes, you see, was the promotional director of the Negro National League in the East" and Ihe Negro American League in the West. ' As long as they relained their stars, these .clubs did well in major league parks by advertising names such as Satchel Paige, athletes denied-the right fo prove that they were of big league caliber. But when Jackie Robinson paved Ihe way for Larry Doby, Paige, Minnie Minoso, Roy Camp- 'anella apd others to go lop cabin, only the Negro American League survived and it was reduced to four clubs and had a lough time paying the bus fare. circuit was presented with a golden opportunity. o, Forbes, who is more recent years has been a trouble-shooter and scout for the Giants, lined Yankee Stadium. His first doubleheader between Detroit and tyem- phis played to close to 10,000 paid admissions. Negro league clubs cannot come East unless they have four lucrative dates. On the first swing, Forbes had Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington and NSw York. Now he has acquired a half dozen more stops--Norfolk, Richmond, Philadelphia, Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo. The result is that the Negro league now plays a 140 - game schedule from Fort Worlh fo Detroit and Birmingham lo Buffalo. Developed Stan While wilh the New York Giants for 11 years, Forbes had a hand in the development of Willie Mays, Reuben Gomez, Bill While, Ossie Virgil and Orlando Cepeda: As great as Mays is, Cepeda, not yet 21, is Frank Forbes' pet project. "The Gianls front office people acled as'though I .were crazy when I firsl (old'them what they had in Cepeda," he laughed. "But I knew what they had when I saw this kid, just a baby, up to major league pitchers in Puerto Rico. "1 knew his father,, you see.. He was the Babe Ruth of the Island, and the kid is his spittin' image."