Larry Colton Book Signing

05/20/2013 7:00 pm


In Southern League: A True Story of Baseball, Civil Rights, and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race, author Larry Colton tells the story of the Southern League's 1964 Birmingham Barons, the first integrated sports team in Alabama. Seventeen years after Jackie Robinson broke the major league's color line, the Barons competed at the height of the civil rights protests and race riots.
On Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m., Colton discusses and signs copies of the book at the Carter Presidential Library. A Cappella Books will have copies of the book for sale in the lobby. The event is free and open to the public.
Colton traces the entire season, interweaving the tumultuous social climate with the relationships between Johnny "Blue Moon" Odom on the pitcher's mound, Tommie Reynolds in the outfield and Bert Campaneris, a shortstop from Cuba. They played for Heywood Sullivan, a white former major leaguer who grew up just down the road in Dothan.


Larry Colton
Colton is the author of several works, including Counting Coup, Goat Brothers, and No Ordinary Joes. He has written for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times Magazine. A former pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Colton himself played in the Southern League in 1966 for a farm team in Macon, Georgia.


Praise for Southern League: 


"Those who say that sports do not, or should not, make us think about anything beyond the field itself have always been wrong. The summer of '64 and the stories found in Southern League demonstrate that once again. -- Bob Costas

"Larry Colton has an extraordinary gift for capturing those times when everyday, glitz and glamor-free American sports, is not merely a metaphor for our culture but becomes a mechanism for cultural change. His highest expression of that gift comes now in Southern League in which he introduces you to players nobody has yet built statues of, but who forced sea-changes in the America in which you live." --Keith Olbermann
"The breadth of Colton's reporting here, placing the Birmingham Barons' 1964 season squarely into the context of the civil rights era, is a narrative tour de force." --Richard Ben Cramer




Carter Library
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