Here are #WNSTSweet16 people who had a dream in Baltimore

January 21, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

13. Sam Lacy

A man of great courage, long-time Baltimore Afro-American newspaper sports columnist Sam Lacy wrote his first story in 1926 at the age of 23 and fought from the beginning for equality and inclusion for men of color in Major League Baseball. Lacy began to lobby Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith in 1936 to allow blacks into the big leagues and spent the 1940s lobbying commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis on the topic of desegregating baseball. It was Lacy who sought the ear of Branch Rickey and then Happy Chandler to have Jackie Robinson become the first African American in Major League Baseball.

He was routinely denied press access because of the color of his skin and like the men who played the games, was forced to eat and stay in hotels that were designed for blacks in the racially-divided Deep South.

Lacy was a pioneer on many issues of race and sports in the 20th century, arguing his case throughout the century as he lived to be 99 years old. And he was still in the Camden Yards press box quite often during the 1990s and covered the Orioles virtually every day during his 59 years at the newspaper.

He fought for nearly a quarter of a century for the dream of seeing the big leagues integrated. He lived to see that and lived another half century documenting it. He made an enormous contribution to awareness in a realm that the white media rarely if ever dared to tread in that era.

See next page for No. 12

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Sam Says:

    This list is spot on…but somewhere in 16, Ray Lewis’ name should have appeared. No doubt about it.

  2. TimNATC Says:

    Heck of a job with this list! I see one that is missing though. His name is Nestor Aparicio. You cannot be a Baltimore sports fan and not recognize what Nestor has done for/meant to the city of Baltimore. Nestor worked hard from a young age to learn and master his craft. When he started WNST people laughed and said he would fail. He had a nationally syndicated radio show and gave it up because he didn’t want to leave his hometown. We should all be thankful that he stayed. Since I have known Nestor (I only really know him through listening and reading) he has always been ahead of his time. He loves sports, he loves Baltimore. Thank you Nestor!

  3. Rich Says:

    TimNATC stole my thunder. Except somehow I believe Nestor’s name is conspicuously absent from the list of 16, but is blatantly included by way of the byline. I, too, believe Nestor is the ultimate Baltimore sports dream-come-true story, but you’d be hard-pressed to fill the stands with enough believers. I don’t think he’d really want it any other way. Nice work, Nasty, as always.

Leave a Reply