Monday, November 17, 2014

The Negro League baseball history fact for today - Robert Rosel Williams

Born on November 17, 1932 in Ninety Six, South Carolina, Robert Rosel Williams got his start with Negro League baseball when only eight years old.  His uncle was the manager of the Ninety Six Blue Jays, a local independent Negro team.  Williams was the bat boy and his uncle allowed him to play first base one inning of one game.

He became a star player with the Blue Jays while in high school.  They played against black teams in South and North Carolina, and from Washington, D.C.  After high school, Williams went on to play at South Carolina State.  Through his college coach, he got a tryout with the Birmingham Black Barons and he was the team’s shortstop in 1954.

Drafted into the Army after one season with the Black Barons, Williams broke his ankle while playing baseball on a military team.  When his military service time ended in 1956, he was invited to spring training by the Cincinnati Reds.  Although Williams had a good spring and showed no signs of being injured, the Reds released him stating he had a bad ankle.

After baseball, Williams taught school and coached sports (baseball, football, basketball, and track) in South Carolina.

What two former Negro League pitchers played with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956?

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