Students at McMahon School got the opportunity to pose for pictures with the trophy, won by the Red Sox in six games against the St. Louis Cardinals last October. The golden icon also made an appearance at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.
Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster was also in attendance, along with Tony King of the 1934 Springfield Post 21 American Legion baseball team, children’s book author Richard Anderson and Brian Collins of Springfield’s “Bring It Home” committee.
The book featured above, A Home Run for Bunny was recently published about Tony King, who is a WWII Veteran who took a stand against racism with his baseball team in 1934. American Legion Post 21’s junior baseball team of 1934 has its special place in sports history. A monument in Forest Park, entitled “Brothers All Are We,” celebrates the team’s stand against racism – and in support of its one African-American player, Ernest “Bunny” Taliaferro.
The monument contains the names of the 15 city boys who agreed to withdraw from an eastern sectional tournament in Gastonia, NC, when they learned that Legion officials would not allow Taliaferro to play.
The decision to bar him came at a time of bitter racial segregation in the South. Given those conditions, the Springfield team’s willingness to forfeit a shot at a national championship to stand by their friend and teammate ranks as a dramatic strike against racism. It came 13 years before Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers crossed the “color line” in Major League Baseball, and 29 years before Martin Luther King’s landmark “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
Now, through the good works of Springfield College professor Richard Andersen, the Post 21 team’s story is retold in the form of a children’s book.
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