Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 11 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 11 to 18
This is a history of black major league baseball players and the crumbling of the colour barrier in sport, and the story of how Fergie Jenkins rose to the top to become Canada's first inductee into the American Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fergie Jenkins grew up in the era when Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play major league baseball, and Willie O'Ree became the first black NHL player. Inspired by these professional athletes, and with doors now opening for young men like himself, Fergie went on to have a remarkable career in major league baseball.
Former sports journalist Richard Brignall traces the ups and downs in Fergie's career, from his humble roots in Chatham, Ontario, to his time with the Phillies, the Cubs, the Red Sox, and the Rangers. Along the way, Brignall examines what it meant for a man to be black in the United States versus Canada in the 1960s and 70s.
About the author
Richard Brignall is a freelance writer, former newspaper sport reporter, based in Kenora, Ontario. He has over 130 articles published in magazines like Cottage Life and Outdoor Canada. He helped originate the Recordbooks series at James Lorimer and Company. This series focuses on Canadian sports history and issues like race, gender, disability, and poverty. He has written seven books for this series. Titles include Small Town Glory about the Kenora Thistles winning the Stanley Cup, Forever Champions about the Edmonton Grads women’s basketball team, Big League Dreams about black baseball player Fergie Jenkins, and China Clipper about Chinese-Canadian football player Norm Kwong.
- Short-listed, Golden Oak Award
- Winner, VOYA 2011 Nonfiction Honor List
Praise for Richard Brignall: "Brignall's text is tightly written, keeping it easy to read, but also giving it a pace that propels the reader through the fascinating story . . ."
Other titles by Richard Brignall
Champion for Health
How Clara Hughes fought depression to win Olympic gold
Real Justice: A Police Mr. Big Sting Goes Wrong
The Story of Kyle Unger
The Enduring Legacy of the Record-setting Edmonton Grads
The Story of George Chuvalo, Canada's Greatest Boxer
Pro football's first Chinese-Canadian player, Normie Kwong
Small Town Glory
The story of the Kenora Thistles' remarkable quest for the Stanley Cup
WinnipegÕs Hockey Heritage
Summit Series '72
Eight games that put Canada on top of world hockey
The Legendary Ironman of Sport, Lionel Conacher