270 - Forgotten Fleet Walker
Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds examine a historic baseball player who has been dismissed, erased, and forgotten.
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the thing to the Dalit this is a biweekly American History podcast each week hi Dave Anthony Cat Whisperer historian lover of women reach the story from American history to my friend Garrett Reynolds as an idea what the topic is going to be about I love the new list I back in the one to one night Gary Garrett Dave ok the is not going to take a leak like the the Town Hall the ship the A bunch virgin two mingle and do what um dates dates I will be June twelfth OB at the madhouse comedy club in the Sunday of the and if they say them who you like to you our little wacky and then of June first eight pm I guess it's of him was the eight p m Thursday to be tonight I guess in the future will be at the stage stages Theatre in Fullerton California doing some standup comedy the dog up for it also we have a book available it's called the United States of absurdity you can buy at a number of places Amazon among them also if you buy the book you like the book leave a comment you know rated all that stuff I guess people give a shit and helps us out a little so you know and we want to thank everybody that book I know we're going to be at the Los Angeles podcast Festival which is coming up in October good ole pot the stock car Mia tickets is also going to be Mark Marin the ladies from my favorite murder go look at the lineup it's a really good lineup leave it we get your show all great trap our shit tons tons tons of the show so go check it out on a punt fest what about com I will add to plug that thing were we're not we're not doing that okay October seven eighteen fifty six day Moses Fleetwood Walker yeah oh better known as Fleury locker yet L was born in Mount Pleasant Ohio to Moses Walker and Caroline O'Hara so he is from a Moses Walker to talk at his parents were okay so his parents both had one black pair and one white parent okay but fleet was born dark appearance ok town of Mount Pleasant was a very safe place for an African American growth in the time it was somewhat abated from the races and elsewhere in the nation it was a working class town that had abolitionist Quaker population and which you want at that time yes if you're if you're a black guy in an eighteen hundreds find some Quakers a good oatmeal don't want to trade away your freedom rights of freedom mostly though a cowboy gav is immobile year out I get to some or all the yen here enjoying a freedom a little more oatmeal yeah hey haven't smoked a few pockets puts into his oatmeal down your pants I don't want to be freedom let me fill your shoes with oatmeal and and back let's see how much its wishes like freedom whom you so it was also the plea that I was also there are lot of abolitionists of their prominent abolitionists and was prominent ones part of the Underground Railroad ok the town which is which if you're not familiar with that is an underground railroad yes actually a free school for black students so it's possible that the walkers were actually part of the Underground Railroad in the eighteen sixty census three year old girl was recorded in the family named Lizzie Walker but a decade later not listed and since there's no record of her birth or death she may ban child who was being smuggled north when a census worker came allow awkward right it's going to be really crazy yet super weird yeah hi who's this ah a hey hello Hye hello why he keep saying why me are there no food or what do you need to be that when fully was three the Fed to move twenty miles up the high river to Steubenville Ohio which you love steers that same year fleece younger brother and future lifelong sidekick well the Walker was born and a sidekick was bowling well the reality TV movie becomes a welder I think you should connect these two pieces that I can use me I got a blow torch on a lot of dough and while they vet the walls yeah well the father Moses will become one if not the boy in need and parted the Red Sea I say I not put together little blow torch and some metal palm while the I tell you boy is for the most is who become one if not the first black physician in the state and then a Methodist Episcopal Church minister K I would done the opposite way how I become a minister and then a doctor right yeah or maybe is that the minister quite so clear that a comfortable middle class upbringing in the town was relatively unaffected by the Civil War after a school in seventy eight was excepted to Oberlin College to study philosophy in the arts ok which is of back then but I get a job right yep fresh air pursue to agree fleet played baseball at Overland quickly set himself apart as a catcher and leadoff hitter and his good suit and decent public speaker had some very confident K weeks of school was not his thing baseball was and it would eventually negatively affect his grades he often imagines in the Oberlin Review for standout performances and this did not go unnoticed with the ladies he is romantically linked to both era barrel Arabella Taylor and Edna Mason to also half black half way to a regular pitcher for the cot for it was Harlan of Burkett Burkett almost and up as a student of them the day he and his father pulled into the school an unpopular student was being tarred and feathered by his fellow U turn around queue immediately I think this week I go know this looks like a good school to meet our rather he looks it's just a prank my the the the the the the birds father's any overt sins might be a bit too rough really because the tar and feather in the summer as though the the college because of the way they're pouring on the human know dandelion feathers kids nowadays I don't get it you walk differently in tar and feather in your pals but Berg decided the college was for him in his first year a fellow student shouldn't forget how to manipulate the friction grip and release of an object that could make it curve he did this by using a great white but a student school showed him how to friction grip and release when frying object Great curve he should emigrate to use the grape so he goes into the lab where the guys like Via actually accomplish something that can help with some new athletes if I throw anything larger than a grape I'm likely to throw my back and shoulder out isn't working with this credit for two years I have learned how to make ok so they use with a law man are you okay are you okay you're sweating and awful as you throw it with your arms was sit down part ok he does it's cool how old are you you look like a drifter who before in your forty nine as the work he was great for my god twenty nine years oh my god just grapes yes I'm a great major and minor league as it turns out is not a lot the grapes and so I just try when you graduate the Berg it then use snowballs over the offseason to practise love who'll the next year is God this is a montage of it in the next year he was one of only three known pictures in the state who could throw a curveball with a snowball with the snow still budget with snow or grape right a couch I can make it work with a baseball can we get the guys to play with I mean I'm actually going to have to draw a flag on the play the graves are not for sporting use it was he's one of three people look at the curve in this day it was a very controversial pitch of the time many dismissed it as being an optical illusion boy I mean we just sat there was just the ceiling to intelligence eye you can only much and that I like the happened but I don't think it happen in the eye the eye to throw this new Paige Burkett had to have a competent catcher behind the plate in that was fleet of the time catchers use their bare hands oh ya catcher's mitts would not be is for another decade of Fleetwood sometimes wear a thin lamb skin glove with finger holes cut out for more than often he was catching bare hands off the two men probably do not have the best relationship Burkett was known to be delighted in having thrown a minstrel show on campus are already wealthy was at Oberlin for the first two years were opening for the tiring and feather first years it was just in a quest games but then colleges around the country start to look at collegiate sports as something to help create status build stronger campus community oh and to make a shitload of Monterey in eighteen eighty on over the expanded in two major collegiate sports ok that was the year well the joint fleet over the way you need someone to put the eye the eye well we played right field and second base then winning many games but in the final game against the University of Michigan fleet lead over into a ten day three when Michigan was so impressed and they needed a catcher so the university offered flee a position at their law school oh this was eighteen seventy the University of Michigan was now only the second college in America to have an African American law school graduate K Flynn also knocked up Sarah Bell around the same time so they got married and she came with the fleet was a good law student and was looking at a decent career but one day he was helping put up a fence around the baseball field to make sure the six hundred expected fans would pay their entry fee and that's when flat real flee to realize the game at the potential to give him a nice career and talk to well the well there was also on board so putting up a fence he was like wait in the future what is this Put of fats to keep out the whole of the RIAA GA Ma meant the local play paper called Fleet the wonder he was given the opportunity to get paid to play in a few games for semi professional teams he played in Pittsburgh for the Newcastle Nash an ox I love than as an ox I mean you know that means that you estimate oh oh oh oh you've never been the masters as when they get the mission the mission Knox or nation they sell both winners is hung ministers or their website he was the fleet was very well received and was considered a brilliant talent another time the White sewing Machine Company from Cleveland paid fleet to play the Louisville eclipse in Louisville Kentucky okay it's the weirdest baseball sense I've ever read hee I'm a little confused but one White sewing Machine Company interesting start already from Cleveland paid fleet to play the Louisville Eclipse playbook and I play the day and who I think it's like advertising I think that they like scent like the white sun machine companies like what some of our club go now with White sewing Machine Company They were just going to put together like White team yeah I think so Oh okay with little life in which she had somehow managed to avoid experiencing over racism directed towards an aunt or Kentucky hey the morning of the game the hotel with the team had their pre game practice refused to flee entry call this team arrived at Stadium The Louisville players and management refused to play if we took the field wow fleet manager I even as an athlete how keen I just feel like I want to beat him right if you have that about much yet it was a problem than you want to give him the tube twisted to the way I can play and it's a powerfully first ever lose a bit tough to know who is who he is a black purse and fleet manager accepted the terms and bench to flee putting in numbers or replacement catcher this was a time before they had minutes as we sat by the end of the first inning the replacement catcher's hands were so swollen and bruised but he refused to keep what I had that happen every gamers I know that every game of the catch is I can't imagine trying to get other players to go in as catcher but no one wanted to play the position this cause a delay in the game the Louisville crowd that decided starting then decided to start chanting nigger get on the local paper reported that it was done in a very playful manner I the playful and bomb drop the loo management thought the chanting was a green light to allow fleet to play to see what who and who do we like here I don't like the crowd I don't like the present is like the Ikea so they offered to let him play for some fleet did not want to leave the back cover was no light in one place so we're going to coach all right let's go but after much persuasion he went in the game we warmed up and was ready to go but at that point too furious Louisville players stormed off the field and into the club hours to protest and the game again was delayed finally the third baseman volunteered to catch and flee went back to the dugout Club Louisville won sixty three the nations America yeah most of the media reports of the time or support of a fleet and argued that he was worthy of the title of Best amateur or catcher in the nation some even wrote the Cleveland team had grounds for a lawsuit against Blue though although that would never happen get closure closure and that's the A so we walkers building a name for myself as a potential generally thought those in from over yes like I owe my last eye I think this guy could become a great player in eighteen eighty three the manager of the minor league Toledo Blue stockings offer fleet a contract with the Star Kings awe the little blue star gaze yeah may have been playing the guidance okay job to law school and pursued his dream of being a full time professional baseball player is all the Oberlin College pitcher Harlan Burkett was also on the blue stockings but Burkett was not the pairing that brought the attention he also caught for future National Baseball Hall of Famer Hank O'Day together they were considered the greatest battery partners in the country and fleets first season with Toledo they won the Northwest League title and flee played in sixty of the eighty four games their success enable the team to move up to the American Association Fleet was now the second major league baseball player making Jackie Robinson not the first way but yeah when Fleet he played for the majors before Jackie Robinson and his dark skin but not these black guy he's not fully black beret is like a black eye to what he you know what the actual first black player to play in the majors was way and why in eighteen seventy nine five years before but it was technically the first African American player he played a grant of one game for the Providence grays in the nationally he was born in Georgia to a white plantation owner in his black servant white was so fair skinned that he passed as a white man and he did not point out to anyone half black and former slaves while he is the first guy who played in the major leagues was black no actually knew he was black and he lived his whole life as a white guy on his dresser to it he was even listed as white that is he's not really minor black guy to play was actually a like I'm even glad a black guy but here plays lawyers in baby steps I just quietly say it is seventy days of his blog huh was nothing but the thing I don't know ok so I consider Moses Lee Walker actually the first still so there is someone I looked for a Jackie Robinson yes that is indeed true why was born in Georgia prior to that so the two leaders promoted the walker is going to be the first black player to play Major League Baseball is production news black is a bus to the other guy whose name was white but the Executive Committee of the American Ale is also wait was well yes and he was just I mean he was just destined for radar flying under eye by the Executive Committee of the American Association lost their fucking minds they moved a motion to ban blacks from playing in the Northwestern League specifically trying to expel fleet locker however after a bitter fight the motion was dropped and Walker was allowed to play he was signed to a two thousand dollars contract K which is pretty nice I think from back then it's fucking great my whatever we hear any figure like those really good I I have like NO idea what the scale is Bowie or any dollar peg them as a million bugs make it a million bucks bag ban this is the time when the average labor would earn around ten dollars a week and it's like a million bucks now so first up leader was scheduled to play an exhibition game against the Chicago White stockings the white socks stockings These all the gusher of socks on and I don't think that was a good decision the White stockings were the best in the country and had won the last three titles are managed by a big superstar the game feature of Emmer an outspoken racist douche bag cap Anson from a local Toledo newspaper quote Walker The Color catcher of the Toledo Club was a source of contention between the home club in the Chicago club shortly after their arrival in the city the Toledo Club was informed there was an objection in the Chicago club to Toledo Zoo playing soccer Marcus is very sore hand and it had not had not been intended to play in yesterday's game and this was stated to the bearer of the announcement for the Chicago's not content with this the visitors declared with the swagger for which there noted that they would play ball with no damned near the order was given then in there to play Walker and the beefy a bluff or was informed that he could play or go just as he blanked please Anson hauled in his horn somewhat and consented to play it remarking will play this year gang but we will but we won't play Never with the nigger and that's all right there in the newspaper of things one I like that they are light don't swear I hope I know they actually went blank in the paper where would you be and what Edward does where does where he but also so dumb that quote is at the end it's fucking stupid ish minutes they will play this year game but won't play Never with the link there so many twists and turns as far as negatives go there that I think he might be saying he'll play with a black eye he does realize he is but he's saying I'll never not always don't do it not gonna care if our will will ok so you're playing with yet marked by people who manager Charles Morton had decided he wasn't putting up with any of Cap Hansen's racist shit fleet was supposed to sit the game out injured but Morton put him in just to spite Anson the answer isn't that great yes answered agreed to play after Morton said that if he forfeited the game that he'd forfeit his team share of the ticket stubs but we did not play catcher because of injuries he played in right field the substrate to it is like now we just got to get in get outside to stand on the field he better like you the wrong am not a that's great I wanna kill myself my positions or I just love having that around two in his first official game was scheduled to be Kentucky brouhaha is over next exhibition is once again he was refused entry in service of the team hotel the media attacked him in the paper fans rained abuse again and the Louisville players threatened to walk off if he played but Toledo management was fine with all the threats they pointed out that Lugo walked off and forfeited than Toledo would get points for the win and Lugo also be fined five hundred dollars so Lou though reluctantly agreed to play during the game will all like it though The Game feat was abused and threatened by the crowd and players on Lugo because this he did not play well he made several errors and did not get a hit the local paper headline the next day read quote Negro catchers disasters hair and a wise not playing good this became the norm throughout the season The Press of players and fans would relentlessly abused and threatened fleet because of segregation laws he would often have to sleep on park benches while his team slept in a hotel y how no one would take him and I get the GA I usually played Oh good is a good vege bed in the last bench yet my bed was lumpy have fucked you yet a book go fuck yourself now rise in the way a few and then the second black player came to play in the majors well he was home what's Yeah yeah this now we have to to Black three three well I mean yeah white but white in the white two black guys who are brothers so already that's a crazy fucking story yeah really erase from history we are a cyst he i well that is called up and played five games in the eighteen eighty four season due to a teenager you know I think I can fix an offense just needs to be sth like sealed together a little better most job for well the FBI asked me to play baseball okay because of sale or that the brothers never played together however because fleet was injured for those games as usual uses hands so there were some bright spots went to Lido to play the Saint Louis Browns a large group of black fans came out too she cheer for the Star Black catcher of the opposing team and we had a great game after all these brief time in Toronto he returned home in eighteen eighty four to Steubenville the peaceful integrated sanctuary city grew up in a new roller skating rink had been built and well they decided to go for skate on opening night with the with the black friend on arrival they found a No Negroes need apply except for positions of meals in the window when they tried to enter the on or stop them and said quote Your colored and you can't skate not want to take shit well the and his friend filed the civil rights lawsuit on the grounds of racial discrimination and they want nice five dollars or fifteen dollars seriously huge and and then he still the judge still out the scanner to BBQ cool after all the years of having a fairly integrated town Steubenville was moving backwards there are other key indicators that all around those advocating segregation were winning the battle against those for integration the next time Toledo came up against the Chicago White stockings manager Charles Morton made an agreement with Cap Anson days before the game that he wouldn't feel any black players for the game for the issues with Toledo went even further fleet was also facing racial hatred from certain teammates and the arcade
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