We can’t play or watch new events right now, but most of us probably have some extra time to read about it. When you’ve gobbled up all the fast news about sports – or the lack of sports for the duration of the coronavirus epidemic – go for a change of pace.
Step into the lives of the men who endured all to earn their place in sports history. Several excellent books about Black sports pioneers allow you to walk in the footsteps of our Black baseball legends. Start with Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton by Walter Payton and Don Yaeger.
Walter Payton was known as Sweetness, and he inspired the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award which goes to players who stand out for their work in the community.
“Sweet” or not, he rose from humble beginnings through the football ranks to become a football celebrity and legend.
His sportsmanship and life are proof that a good man can be tough, and a tough man can be good.
Make this book your first stop, and for more inspiration follow up with books about players like Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Buck O’Neil, Curt Flood, and many others who ruled the Negro Leagues and smashed through barriers so that others could follow.