Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 2016 “Everybody Deserves a Shot” – Alexander Hamilton and Sam Phillips

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Another year, another MLK Day. My 15th annual message is attached below. The ideas for this year’s message came from unexpected sources.

My beach read on a December vacation was the new Peter Guralnick biography Sam Phillips: The Man who Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll.  I was intrigued by Guralnick’s conclusion that Phillips had three major passions: civil rights, baseball and the music form that became rock ‘n’ roll. Those of you who have read my musings on these three subjects will not be surprised that this makes Sam my soul brother.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2013) – Bill Veeck and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

When Cleveland's Larry Doby and Satchel Paige became the first African-Americans to win a World Series

As the MLK holiday approaches, I submit for your consideration the name of baseball maverick Bill Veeck. Those of you who are not big baseball fans (or too young) might not know of this colorful and visionary team owner who shook up the establishment with his stunts, fan promotions, exploding scoreboards and so much more. For good or bad, he is probably most remembered for sending 3-foot-7-inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate in a major league game (Eddie wore uniform number 1/8 and walked on 4 pitches). But here is another fact: Veeck marched (on his one good leg and a wooden one) in Martin Luther King’s funeral procession in Atlanta in 1968. This is a story of why that march was in character for this man and why he has a key role in the history arc covered by Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Continue reading