Before Jackie Robinson crossed major league baseball's color line, there existed a parallel world of "blackball" with its own pantheon of superstars: Rube Foster, Oscar Charleston, Smokey Joe Williams, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and many others. Hundreds of elite athletes played in the Negro Leagues from 1887 through the early 1950s, and this remarkable oral history offers an inside look at some of their lives. Seventeen players and a team owner reminisce about this often-overlooked side of American baseball, recapturing the era with a vividness that no journalist could rival.Author John Holway has achieved more than anyone else in the attempts to attain recognition for the Negro Leagues and to help their most deserving stars gain their rightful places in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Holway sought out veterans of the Negro Leagues and recorded their recollections. He then conducted extensive research to confirm the stories with statistics from newspapers of the era. The result is a living history of the great black teams, acclaimed by The New York Times as "the closest we can come to seeing them." This revised edition features over eighty vintage photographs and a Foreword by baseball historian Frank Ceresi.