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Jim 'Mudcat' Grant On The Beginning Of Integration In Baseball


Kansas City, MO – 62 years ago last week Jackie Robinson became the first African American to take the field for a Major League team. He was #42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Now officials at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum want us to remember more of Robinson's legacy. They want us to know he got his start right here, with the Kansas City Monarchs. And so the Museum has put together a campaign called: Before He Was #42. The idea is to reveal more about Jackie Robinson's early career, and his impact on many other African American players behind him.

One of those was Lary Doby, now a Hall-of-Famer, who followed Robinson as the second African American to sign with the major leagues. The center-fielder for the Cleveland Indians was a seven time all-star player and later became the second black manager in the Majors. For many years Lary Doby had a roommate by the name of Jim Grant, who people called "Mudcat." Grant now spends his time studying and promoting the influence of African American baseball players. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson caught up with Jim "Mudcat" Grant at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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