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LITERARY LOCAL | Martha Jo Black & Chuck Schoffner

JOE BLACK: MORE THAN A DODGER Joe Black’s dream was shattered as a teenager when he was told that colored men don’t play baseball. A little more than a decade later, Joe saved the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1952 season with his clutch relief pitching, was Rookie of the Year and became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game. Martha Jo Black, the daughter that Joe fought for custody of as a single parent and now a Chicago resident, was drawn to tell the world her father’s story of overcoming obstacles and his successes. She teamed up with sports writer Chuck Schoffner to help bring Joe’s story to life. “My dad was much more than a baseball player,” says Martha Jo. “His major-league career lasted only six years, but what he did after leaving the game went far beyond anything he accomplished on the pitcher’s mound.”

Martha Jo and Chuck follow Joe’s life from growing up poor, his baseball glory days, and through corporate America where he became the first black vice president of a major transportation company with the Greyhound Corporation. Through it all, we learn of a father’s devotion to the daughter he loved. Joe Black: More Than a Dodger, published through Chicago Review Press, can be found currently through Amazon and Barnes and Noble bookstores.-Mindy Kyle, Features Writer

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