Biz Mackey, a Giant behind the Plate
The Story of the Negro League Star and Hall of Fame Catcher
Publication: Feb 20
Publication: Feb 18
Publication: Feb 20
5.375 x 8.5
1 tables, 3 figs., 20 halftones
Now in Paperback—the first biography of arguably the greatest catcher in the Negro LeaguesRead Chapter 1 (pdf.)
"Before the time of Josh Gibson and Roy Campanella, James Raleigh ‘Biz’ Mackey was the quintessential catcher in the Negro Leagues. Cumberland Posey, who had managed the great Gibson, rated Mackey as his number-one catcher of all time. As a young talent with the Baltimore Elite Giants, Campanella credited Mackey with his own development into a Major League catcher. This previously untold story of an unheralded player is finally brought to light in Westcott's Biz Mackey, a Giant behind the Plate ."
—Larry Lester, co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and author of Black Baseball in New York City: An Illustrated History, 1885–1959
“Westcott captures Mackey’s legacy behind the plate in addition to being a career .300+ hitter. In a chapter on Americans in Japan in 1927, he attributes the growth of baseball’s popularity there to Mackey and other players. His final chapter on Mackey's and other African Americans’ induction into the Hall of Fame is a fitting conclusion. VERDICT An excellent addition to works on the history of baseball."
—Library Journal (starred review)
A celebrated ballplayer before African Americans were permitted to join Major League Baseball, Biz Mackey ranks as one of the top catchers ever to play the game. With Biz Mackey, now available in a new paperback edition, he finally gets the biography he deserves.
Using archival materials and interviews with former Negro League players, baseball historian Rich Westcott chronicles the catcher’s life and remarkable career in Biz Mackey as well as providing an in-depth look at Philadelphia Negro League history.
"Young constantly reminds you that there is a human at the center of these events, which leads to the second effect of keeping Young’s voice strong: his morality shines through.... (T)here is a constant expression of heart, compassion, optimism, and goals for the working person."
—Write Now Philly
Table of Contents
Foreword by Monte Irvin
Foreword by Ray C. Mackey III
1. One of Baseball’s Greatest Catchers
2. From the Farm to the Diamond
3. Black Baseball in Philadelphia
4. Blossoming with the Daisies
5. Helping the Stars to Sparkle
6. Elevating Baseball in Japan
7. Moving Up to the Job of Manager
8. Teaching Campy the Tricks of the Trade
9. A Long-Overdue Induction into the Hall of Fame
Appendix: Biz Mackey’s Year-by-Year Negro League Statistics Sources