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The Night 2 H-Bombs Fell on North Carolina

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
August 23, 2022 3:00 am

The Night 2 H-Bombs Fell on North Carolina

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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August 23, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, we learn how on January 23, 1961, a B-52 bomber crashed in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Two H-bombs—each 250 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan, fell to the ground. Earl Smith dismantled those bombs and he's here to tell us the story! Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, tells the story of a man many historians consider to be the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball-Leroy "Satchel" Paige. 

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00:00 - The Night 2 H-Bombs Fell on North Carolina

35:00 - 

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This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories and we tell stories about everything here on this show. On January 23, 1961, just four days after President John F. Kennedy was sworn into office, a B-52 bomber crashed near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Two H-bombs, each 250 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan marking the end of World War II, were thrown out and fell at a velocity of 700 miles per hour and crashed into Goldsboro, North Carolina. Information about this event was kept classified until 2013. This is the true story of that mission as told by the man who actually dismantled the hydrogen bombs in the aftermath of an accident that could have been the worst man-made disaster in history.

Here's Earl Smith with the true story of the Goldsboro Broken Arrow. Well, I graduated high school in 1956 in Hatton, Alabama. And like everybody else around there, the day after you graduate high school, you go to Kalamazoo, Michigan. So I go to Kalamazoo to visit my brother. I had a brother and two sisters live there and my brother had a neighbor about my age and so we decided to go downtown on a Saturday morning just to fool around and so there was a recruiter's station. I said, let's go and make that thing.

God, I think we're going to join. So it was in the morning we were down there so by 3 o'clock that afternoon we was pulling out on a train for the processing station in the Air Force. So anyway, when I went back my brother and him was about to have a heart attack. He said, you did what? I said, I joined the Air Force. No, you didn't. Yeah, I did. I got to leave this afternoon. And I left.

We signed up on a buddy plan and after that I never saw my buddy again. So he goes to California for schooling and I go to Texas. And the first school I went to is called Munition School.

And they give you different tests to see kind of what you qualify for. So this first assignment they send me down to Puerto Rico, Ramey Air Force Base. So I go down to Puerto Rico there and what I'm doing the job, what Munition Maintenance calls for, which is basically taking care of the bombs and the ammo in the storage area and loading them on the plane, what have you. Well, the Air Force decided to start an airborne alert with nuclear weapons. So we had 33 B-36 bombers down there. So they started what they call Operation Curtain Razor. Every day at 1 o'clock a plane would leave Ramey and at the same time another plane would leave North Africa. There's one always in the air and five on the ground, or five days on the ground, loaded with nuclear weapons, each one ready to go and ammunition. So anyway, when I leave Puerto Rico, they formed a new squadron called the 53rd MMS, which is Munition Maintenance Squadron.

And we wound up at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Back then, I just figured I'd rather disarm a bomb than eat when I was hungry, real reckless back then. But I'm the same kid that when I was growing up, all the little neighbor kids older than me, they'd talk me into turning over a neighbor's beehive and stuff like that.

Or throw his bucket in the well, the old Doug Wells, and I'd do stuff like that. I was real daring. So I guess it stems back from something like that. I had put in for bomb disposal school, but before you can get in, you have to, I understand, have to have a grade of 90 or above, I believe, from Munition Maintenance for them to put the money behind you. And it's strictly voluntary, so I received an appointment after a few months to go to EOD school in Indiana and Maryland. Well, the school, like I say, was extremely hard.

You just literally live from day to day and hope you can make it through another day. Because the man in the indoctrination, first of all, they take you out in this field. It's about a 20-acre field, and they have everything that's ever been thrown, dropped, or projected from all over the world up to a V-1 and V-2 rocket. It hasn't got to the big rockets at the time. And a man tells you, he said, gentlemen, before you graduate this school, if you're fortunate enough to graduate this school, you'll be able to walk up to any piece of ordinance out here and tell me what it is, what kind of explosive you've used in it, what kind of fusion system, and what country it's from, and how to disarm it.

And everybody's punching everybody, yeah, sure, uh-huh, yeah. But before you leave that school, that's one of the easier things you can do. You're not even getting into the big missiles and what have you. But really, the nuclear bombs hadn't entered my mind.

I just was never dreaming that I'd have anything dropped in my lap like it was dropped in my lap. But once I get back to my base after I graduate, and it happened to be my night on standby. It was actually January the 23rd, 1961, when the control tire called me, and they said, we have a B-52 coming in, tail number 0187, with fuel leaks in the Bombay area. Well, I knew that was serious, because when they go to let the landing gear down, you possibly have sparks that could create a fire. And I lived off base, so it had been a snow on the ground, and it was about 10 degrees that night, so I got dressed right quick, and I didn't bother to lace my boots on.

I just wrapped the strings around them, tied them. But by the time I got to the base, they determined it had crashed off base about 12 miles. So General Moore already had a helicopter waiting for me, because the EOD man has a first priority on what they call a broken area. The bomb that fell was a Mark 39 bomb, which is actually 3.8 megatons of explosive. And a lot of people don't know how much a megaton is. If you take a railroad car, coal car, and you load it heaping up with TNT, it would stretch all the way across the United States and back and forth Chicago. That's only 1 megaton.

This was 3.8. And you've been listening to Earl Smith, the true story of the Goldsboro Broken Arrow. You're going to want to hear the rest of this story here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the stories we tell about this great country, and especially the stories of America's rich past, know that all of our stories about American history, from war to innovation, culture, and faith, are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College, a place where students study all the things that are beautiful in life and all the things that are good in life. And if you can't get to Hillsdale, Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses.

Go to hillsdale.edu to learn more. And we continue here with Our American Stories. And we just learned from Earl Smith that just one of the two hydrogen bombs that fell on Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1961 contained 3.8 megatons of explosives. Here's Earl making that statistic understandable to laymen. The experts claimed that with the fallout and everything, if one of them had gone off, it would kill everybody all the way from New York City all down the eastern seaboard to the tip of the Florida Keys.

So pretty much wiping off the whole eastern seaboard. It was 250 times stronger than what was dropped on Hiroshima. That was only 40 kilotons. So this thing was just a monster. When we get out to the things, he had a light under the helicopter and we're flying around and I see a parachute. I said, my God, they're not supposed to be connected. So I said, set me down as close as you can get to it. And the guy said, I don't want to get too close. I said, it don't matter, buddy. You get me close as you can. So General Moore tells me, he said, now you can't touch that bomb or anything until we get permission from Atomic Energy Commission.

I said, no, sir, that's not the way it works. And that scared me. So I got off and see what to do. And I woke up to the bomb when I opened that access door and saw that red A. I mean, I just I just turned cold. I mean, it's the scariest thing. I was 24 years old. And as the old saying, what am I doing here?

You know, that is something I just didn't sign up for. But it was it was it was armed and functioning. And I thought I really thought at that point when I couldn't find that other bomb, I thought I was dying.

I mean, it's funny what you can tell your your mind, you can tell yourself. And I did. I was paying. I had the pains in the chest and everything was right around. I mean, buddy, I knew I was going I was going fast, but I had to get get done what I could. And I happened to look over in the distance. There's about a five mile area that was literally lit up with parts of the plane burning. And I saw an ambulance over with the big, big cross on it.

And I started to feel better for some reason or other, you know. So a few hours later, a few hours later, every general seemed like an Air Force showing up. And General Moore, who was General Moore was one star general.

And General Sweeney, who was the the the commander of 8th Air Force, which I was assigned to. Anyway, he starts asking me what all what did you do first, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I said, well, I'm probably in a lot of trouble.

He said, what do you mean? Well, when General Sweeney found out that I had been told by General Moore that I had to get permission from Atomic Energy Commission, he turned to his aide and said, get General Moore over here. I said, oh, Lord, I'm in trouble. So General Moore comes up and the very words he said to General Moore, he said, General Moore, if you don't know this man's damn job, I suggest you have him up to your office about two to three times a week for coffee and donut so he can explain to you what the hell he does. Oh, Lord, my heart just sunk because General Moore is going back to 8th Air Force. And here I'm going to be stuck on base with this general. And I'm a little old airman, first class enlisted man, you know, and they made him look bad, made him look real bad.

Nothing ever came of it. But that was I was more scared of that than I was the bomb. I was worried about the bomb.

I knew I could take it. Well, about an hour and a half later, three more EOD men, a Sergeant Fletcher and a Sergeant Fincher and Sergeant Evers, they came out in the pickup and we proceeded to disarm the first bomb. And what happened, those bombs are so powerful, they have to be let down by parachute because they blow the plane out of the air. But they can be set up to forty six hours. This can be that long a delay because they don't worry about the Russians coming up and disarm them because they don't do exactly the steps as they're supposed to be.

It'll blow up anyway. So we knew that part, too. So you got to do and disconnect one CKT wire and then wait three minutes or so.

And then, you know, the steps, you have to do it exactly. So that's that's the reason for the parachute. So anyway, we get this bomb taken care of and I called out the motor pool for them to get to bring a flatbed truck out so they could get down and lift to get this bomb to go back to the base. It's taken care of. Well, eight and a half hours after this happened, this Lieutenant Ravel shows up with a crew from SAC headquarters, Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

And he comes marching out there like little Lord Fortenroy taking in charge. Well, the first thing he did was we finally found a second bomb and it was it really took about about three days before we really got to the part because everything had to be done. We had to be real careful digging because we had ninety two detonators that were alive and those had to be each one had to be counted for and put in a little container and get back to the base. Well, when they got down deep enough for the big after body part where the parachute was still in, Lieutenant Ravel and his group removed that out of the ground.

You have just that after body. Well, I was the lowest ranking man on there, so I got the good duty of getting down in the hole and in the muddy water and icy water and everything, reaching down in the hole and pulling up parts of the bomb. And I identified what each one was and I reached down and I got the nuclear core righted up between my legs and I handed it to somebody.

I don't remember who it was, but I told him I probably won't ever have any more kids. And I didn't after that. So once we got all of that stuff out in a tritium bottle, then there wasn't really anything else for them that's explosive to where the big diggers couldn't come in. And the local people wouldn't drink the water. They were scared to death. They wouldn't drink the water. So we got permission to bring three of the old timers around.

I can't remember even what their names were. But anyway, I took a cup and poured some water in it and I drank it. And I said, you know, do you think I would drink it if, you know, so that kind of gave them peace of mind. So I never heard any more thing about that. But they told us to didn't want the public to know what we were looking for. There was a part which weighed about 3,000 pounds, which was uranium-235 and 238.

It hit hard pan and kept going. And we were looking for this. This is what all the digging was going to be about. But they told us to tell everybody when they were reporting about it.

We were looking for a part to an ejection seat. Now that's what we actually had to say. But one poor man was a scarecropper. And he looks up and sees this humongous parachute with something in it. He thought the Russians were invading.

So he grabbed a pone of cornbread and some milk and some blankets. They found him seven hours later under some bushes where they were looking for Major Shelton. He was something that killed him. Three bodies were killed and two bodies were in the wreckage immediately close to where the bomb was. But five men survived. One man, Captain Maddox, he didn't have an ejection seat. So when everybody else ejected, he said he saw a hole and he just dove for it, never dreaming he'd get out. So he made it through and then he hitched a riot somewhere back to the base. He still had a parachute. And the gate guard was talking about going to arrest him and thought he stole a parachute. But nobody, to my knowledge, has ever escaped jumping out of a jet plane and survived.

And you're listening to Earl Smith and, my goodness, what he was up to that day in North Carolina. Well, we never knew about it until fairly recently. There's been a book written about it, a big bestseller. It's being optioned as a movie. The Goldsboro Broken Arrow is the thriller by Joel Dobson.

The book inaccurately recounts the story from the perspective of Jack Ravel. And that's why we're bringing you Earl Smith's account. He was the guy who did the work, not the guy who wanted the credit. And we know the difference between those two when it comes to political theater and showboaters. When we come back, we're going to continue this remarkable story, the story of how one of the world's greatest man-made disasters was averted here on Our American Stories. And we continue here with Our American Stories. And we love telling you these stories from history because they're important. And, my goodness, these are things ordinary Americans do that are, well, they're just extraordinary.

Let's rewind a little bit. We're going to take a look at some of these stories. We're going to take a look at some of these stories from history. We're going to take a look at some of these stories from history.

These are things ordinary Americans do that are, well, they're just extraordinary. Let's return to Earl Smith picking up with three other men who helped him dismantle the hydrogen bomb back in 1961 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. They're the real heroes, too. Like I said, they're all dead now. And what had happened before I found out about all this, somehow this Lieutenant Revelle had found out that the other three guys were dead. So he thought I was dead, too. So he proceeded to tell the story like all this, how he took care of that bomb, which was a bunch of crap.

I mean, just an out-and-out blatant lie because he had nothing to do. That bomb was ready. At the time he got shot, come on, was taken care of and ready to go back to the base. And I imagine he was quite shocked when he found out that I was still alive. After I come up there, and there was a lot of publicity about it, after I got back home, this movie producer called me from Paris, France. And he said he was making a movie called The Cold War, and he loved to tell my story in it. And he said, I'll fly you back up there, and we'll pay all your expenses and everything.

And I said, OK. So I went back up there in April of that year. Well, the man who, Kurt Keller, who is a principal person, he wants everything to be historically correct.

And he's the president of the Historical Society for Goldsboro. Well, this Lieutenant, when he was telling his story, me or any of the three other guys were ever mentioned about anything, never mentioned, never mentioned. So that set me on fire about getting everything straight.

So that's when I went back. Kurt Keller invited me up to tell the story. As a matter of fact, when we made this movie, the man that's flying over from Paris, the guy who's the director or president of the Historical Society, he said this Lieutenant Ravel was invited to be a part of it, too. He said, I'll take bits. He won't show up.

And guess what? He didn't. I was sure hoping to hell he would. After all that he told and this stuff, and after three dead men, Sergeant Fincher, Sergeant Fletcher, and Sergeant Evers, with all they'd done, they couldn't defend theirself. The way he did that, I lost any respect I ever might have had about him. And then when they write this book, they write this book, I think it ended up being two books.

I've only seen one, Broken Arrow over at Goldsboro. The man that wrote that, I finally had talked to him. And I said, I don't hold you. I said, first of all, I asked him, where did you get this information?

He said, well, from Lieutenant Ravel. I said, well, he polled you a bunch of crap. And then I proceeded to tell him about what really happened. And he said, well, I figured he was an officer and a gentleman. And I said, well, you kind of figured wrong on this one, because he wasn't.

Turned out to be other than that. But he never showed up when we went to film this movie, but that's the way it happened. I remember everything just like it was yesterday. Because when something like that is so vivid, I mean, it's so important, you just don't forget it. But like I say, I never thought we were told to never, ever mention it. They say, you don't ever speak of this.

You don't ever. You never, never, ever, ever speak of it. So that scared this old boy, so I kind of put it out of my mind. Well, first of all, they said something that bothered me for many years, because they were telling everybody that all the parts were found. And I knew that piece of uranium, 238 and 238, was still in that ground. And I didn't know where anything might have moved, where it might have finally started doing something to the water supply.

And it bothered me for many years about the people living down there. But we were told, you don't talk about this. But they were telling, the Air Force was telling, we were looking for an ejection seat to see what killed Major Shelton. And they spent a little over a million dollars digging. Now, a million dollars in 1961 was a lot of money, a lot of money. So they let us know right quick, you don't talk about it. And President Kennedy had only been in office four days, and that was his first speech I think he had to make about a press report, I guess. But like I said, I know there were a lot of generals there, and a lot of media had started showing up, and they finally had, well, they threatened with a $25,000 fine. Now they couldn't keep them out, but that's what they did. But boy, they'd say, you don't say a word about this, you don't say a word about it, you know.

So I don't think that there is. I thought for a long time I worried about it. Because when you think about it, the radiation would have come from the core, and we got the core out. But this other is buried so deep, that uranium, that's where it comes from out of the ground anyway. So it's still underground.

They're doing, they do regular testing on it. But in my later years, I got in, I mostly was selling RVs up there, dandy RV up in Oxford. And these men came in, and they were EOD men. So I mentioned to one of them, I said, you know, I was an ex-EOD man. I said, I worked on a little job up in North Carolina, and he looked at me and said, you worked on that job? I said, yeah. I said, I sure did. I said, I was on standby, I had it by myself for the first hour and a half. He said, you know, it's all over the Internet.

And I said, well, no. I mean, so, boy, I finally got in, got on there, and after reading all that stuff, my blood started boiling, all that crap he was telling, you know. I mean, not only just for myself, for the other men that risked their lives. When you go out on something like that, you don't know what's going to happen. But for him to come in and try to take credit for something somebody else did, it's just not right.

There's no way in the world. I don't hold any animosity toward him. At the time, I could have broke his neck when I first heard about it.

But you're not supposed to hate. I mean, the whole thing was just like something that's never happening. And you've been listening to Earl Smith telling the story of disarming a hydrogen bomb, no, two hydrogen bombs, that fell on North Carolina back on January 23rd, 1961. This event was kept classified until 2013. And by the way, assuming that everyone had died, Lieutenant Jack Revelle decided to, well, do what we all know people like this, did what he thought he could do, take advantage of an opportunity and take credit for work done by other men. No surprise that he wasn't showing up wherever Earl Smith showed up because, my goodness, Earl would have had detailed memory of disarming that bomb that, let's face it, Lieutenant Jack Revelle simply couldn't or didn't have. A great story. And by the way, we always welcome your stories.

Send them to OurAmericanStories.com. And this is just a, look, you don't hear a guy talking about himself in heroic ways. He did what he was trained to do.

And he did it with a bunch of guys, and a whole bunch of guys died probably trying to get this plane to land safely and not create, again, what would have been perhaps the worst man-made disaster in human history. Earl Smith's story, the story of a man who disarmed a couple of H-bombs in North Carolina back in 1961, the year of my birth, here on Our American Stories. Music And we return to Our American Stories. Up next, a story from Bob Kendrick. He's the president of the Negro League's Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Today, Bob shares with us the story of a player many experts believe, at least experts in the world of baseball, was the greatest of all time. And we're talking Satchel Paige.

Take it away, Bob. Music I think the work that we've done over the last 30-plus years, people now come to the Negro League's Baseball Museum expecting to meet some pretty good baseball players. And, of course, you're going to leave not being disappointed. You're going to meet some of the greatest athletes to ever put on a baseball uniform.

But by the time our guests walk away from this experience, I think they truly walk away with a much deeper, richer appreciation for just how great this country really is. Because the story of the Negro Leagues could have only happened in America. Yes, it is anchored against the ugliness of American segregation, a horrible chapter in this country's history. But out of segregation rose this wonderful story of triumph and conquest. And it's all based on one small, simple principle. Music You won't let me play with you in the Major Leagues?

Okay, I'll create my own league. And they never believed that they were inferior because they were playing in the Negro Leagues or that the white athlete was superior because they were playing in the Major Leagues. But everybody else did. And so they knew how good they were, and they knew how good their league was.

And you know what? The Major Leaguers knew how good they were. Yeah, because they had competed with and against each other in countless exhibition games.

And when we went to those Spanish-speaking countries, there was no separation. They were all playing together, which is one of the reasons why I think Ted Williams, upon his own induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, stood there and boldly used his platform to advocate for the induction of Negro League stars into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Music He would go on to say that he hoped someday the likes of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as symbols of those great black stars who had never been given an opportunity.

That was 1966. Five years later, Satchel Paige becomes the first from the Negro Leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, or I should say the first for his Negro Leagues career. Music He joins the Cleveland Indians in 1948 as a supposedly 42-year-old rookie. Only God knows how old he really was. Cleveland would win the World Series.

My Cleveland fans get tired of hearing me say this, but it was the last time that Cleveland won the World Series was 1948 with Satchel Paige and Larry Doby. Many thought Satchel should have been named Rookie of the Year. He goes 6-1 with a 2.4 ERA his rookie season at age 42, which means he was likely closer to 52. He never told his real age, and quite frankly, I'm not convinced that Satchel knew his real age. And that's not far fetched because there were a lot of folks, particularly black folks born in the Deep South, who didn't know how old they were. Now baseball says that Satchel was born July 7, 1906, which I absolutely do not believe.

The man that died here in 1982 had likely seen 76 a long time ago. Satchel, I believe, was born sometime in the early to mid 1890s in Mobile, Alabama. And like virtually everyone of that era, you're not born in a hospital.

You're born at home to a midwife. And that birth record was typically kept in the back page of the family Bible. Now according to Satchel, the goat ate that page out of the Bible. So he didn't know. But as Satchel would whimsically pose the question, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you are? Or that age is simply mind over matter.

If you don't mind, it don't matter. And that is how he led his life. Now in his prime, they clocked his fastball at 105 miles per hour. But what really made Satchel so special, and I can tell you right now, 105, pretty doggone special. But what really made Satchel so special was 105 with pinpoint control. He could put it exactly where he wanted to put it. And I am not talking about just throwing strikes.

Uh-uh. The catcher sat the target. He hit the target.

He didn't miss. You see, he didn't warm up in the bullpen like most pitchers do, throwing to the catcher across home plate. You know what Satchel would use? A stick of foil chewing gum wrapper.

Honest God's truth. The catcher would sit the chewing gum wrapper on top of home plate. And wherever the catcher moved the chewing gum wrapper, Satchel right over the top of that chewing gum wrapper. He was absolutely uncanny. I tell my guests all the time, there will never, ever, ever be another Leroy Satchel Page. Not someone who combines the longevity. By his estimation, he pitched in over 2,600 games, recorded some 55 no-hitters, and only God knows how many strikeouts, and the charisma. He could sell it. Yeah, he could sell it.

But he could also back it up. And so Satchel had names for his pitches. So he didn't have fastball, curveball, changeup.

No, not Satchel. Satchel had what he called his midnight creeper. He had the two-humper. He had the bat-dodger.

He had the hesitation pitch. He had the long-time, the short-time, the jump ball, the trouble ball, the radio ball, the wobbly ball, the dipsy-doo. And he also had a pitch that he called his b-ball. You know why he called it the b-ball?

Because Satchel says, it bees where I want it to be when I want it to be there. And so I tell all my young major league pitchers when they come into the museum, they better develop themselves a b-ball. And so he was so amazing. One of my favorite stories relative to Satchel, they were playing in the Denver Post tournament. Satchel Paige All-Stars versus an all-white semi-pro team from the Coors Brewing Company. And Buck O'Neal is playing first base for Satchel and his All-Stars. And he says the first kid from the Coors team gets into the batter's box.

He digs in. Satchel throws him a fastball. Kid swung as hard as he could. Topped it. Dribbled it down a third-base line.

It stays fair. He beats it out and gets an infield hit. Well, Buck says about that time, one of the kids from the Coors dugout steps out on top of the dugout steps. And he yells out, Let's beat him.

He ain't nothing but an overrated darkie. Well, Satchel's nickname, and he had a nickname for everybody, his nickname famously for Buck O'Neal was Nancy. Now, that's a whole other story.

We ain't got time to tell that story. But anyway, Satchel looks over at first base. He says, Nancy, did you hear that? Buck said, yes, Satchel, I heard him. He said, Nancy, bring him in. So Buck is at first base. He turns, and he motions for the outfield to take a couple of steps in. Satchel says, no, Nancy, bring him all the way in.

Honest to God, it's true. There were seven guys kneeling around the mound. Satchel Paige and the catcher. And Satchel strikes out the side on nine straight pitches. He looks into the coolest dugout and says, overrated darkie, hey. And of course, the kid that said this, he was embarrassed, and all the guys came out to apologize to Satchel and his teammates. But Buck O'Neal swore to the day he died, if he had one game to win and any choice of any pitcher from any era, it would be the legendary Leroy Satchel Paige. He said, you might beat him when he was out there messing around.

But when he was locked and loaded, forget about it. But as Satchel would say, there were a lot of Satchel Paige's that played in this league known as the Negro Leagues. And it is so very fitting that we now have a place where their contributions, not only to our sport, are being remembered, but their contributions to our society. Again, it is at a time when there's only a handful of these legendary athletes still with us. They're like World War II vets.

Many of them were World War II vets. So what stood at risk was that this story was going to die when that last Negro League left the face of this earth. We cannot allow that to happen. I tell my guests all the time, the Negro Leagues baseball museum doesn't need to survive.

It has to survive. And great job as always by Monty Montgomery on the production. A special thanks also to Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Out of segregation, Bob said, rose triumph. And indeed, the African American rebuttal to the Major League Baseball's refusal to let African Americans play was start our own league. And nobody more perfectly represented that league and the talents than Leroy Satchel Paige. 2,600 wins, 105 mile an hour fastball. The story of Leroy Satchel Paige on Our American Story.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-17 12:31:30 / 2023-02-17 12:45:57 / 14

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