Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Negro League baseball history fact for today - Lyman Bostock

In 1942 when he was 24 years old, Lyman Wesley Bostick was a promising Negro League baseball player that went into the military.   Bostock, born on March 11, 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama was one of the less than handful of former Negro League players who had sons that played in the Major Leagues.  In 1975 when Lyman Bostock Jr. was 24 years old he was in his Major League baseball rookie season with the Minnesota Twins.  He fulfilled the dream that had eluded his father.

At the time he went into military service, the senior Bostick played first base for the Birmingham Black Barons.  Selected by fans as an All Star in 1941, he got a hit in the 1941 Negro League East West All Star Game.  However, after returning to baseball in 1946, he did not regain his All Star form and no opportunity to play in the Major Leagues came when the “invisible color line” disappeared in 1947.  Had integration come when he was younger, it would have been a different story for him.  He played in the Negro leagues until 1954.

Lyman Bostock Jr. was in the group of players to first benefit from the Major League baseball free agency system in the 1970s.  After hitting over .300 for two years, he signed a huge contract with the California Angels in 1978.  Unfortunately, his career was cut short when he was murdered during the season that year.

It was a good baseball story of the son of a former Negro League player being a Major League star.  A story cut short by a senseless tragedy.

The indisputable ties between Negro League baseball and the Major Leagues were not fully recognized during the late 1970s.  It was before the boom of interest in the Negro Leagues that exists today.  But, Lyman Bostock, Jr. was an actual DNA representation of those ties.  How great it would be for baseball today if a descendant of a former Negro League player was a Major League All Star today

What son of a former Negro League player has pitched a Major League no-hitter?

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