View Full Version : RIP Earl Wilson ( first black to pitch no-hitter in AL)

04-26-2005, 02:59 PM
Earl Wilson, 70; first black to pitch for Red Sox (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2005/04/26/earl_wilson_70_first_black_to_pitch_for_sox)
(By Paul Harber, Globe Staff)

Former Red Sox pitcher Robert Earl Wilson, who endured racism to become the first black American Leaguer to throw a no-hitter, died of a heart attack Saturday in Detroit. He was 70.

ON BASEBALL: A huge presence in the lean years (http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/04/26/a_huge_presence_in_the_lean_years)
(By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff) Earl Wilson was one of them. One of the few. Years before the Red Sox were chic, before there was a Nation, even before we figured out that George Herman Ruth cast a spell on us, Robert Earl Wilson was one of the very few good reasons to come to Fenway Park.

EARL WILSON | 1934-2005: Former Tiger dies (http://www.freep.com/sports/tigers/earlwilson26e_20050426.htm)

04-27-2005, 03:55 PM
Here we go again in Boston on the Red Sox and race

Earl Wilson was traded by the Red Sox to the Tigers for a bag of balls in 1966 and Wilson went on to win 22 games in 1967 for Detroit. The reason for the trade was race PERIOD as the fine sports editor of the Providence Journal explains in his tribute to Wilson.

In his excellent book Shutout, Howard Bryant tells the story of Wilson being denied service at a Lakeland, Fla., bar because of his color during spring training in 1966. When Wilson complained to Red Sox management, he was told to (a) forget about it and (b) not say a word to the press about the incident.

Wilson would tell Bryant: "Having that happen, and then being told not to say anything about it, was the most humiliating experience of my life."

Wilson defied the Sox. He told his story. And even though he was their best pitcher, he was gone a few months later: traded for a 31-year-old outfielder who was hitting .212 at the time of the deal and a pitcher who would never appear in a game for the Red Sox.

Now this should be the end of it but no this is Boston where the race card always has to be played.

Howard Bryant, the columist for the Boston Herald who wrote SHUTOUT mentioned above really threw gasoline on the logs and lit a fire this morning. He was miffed that the death of Dick Radatz a few weeks ago got more attention than Wilson in both the local press and WEEI.

WEEI went after Bryant pointing out that for starters Radatz WORKED at WEEI and was very active in Boston after he retired. Wilson was living in Detroit.

Bryant tries to defend himself to Dale Arnold and Michael Holley (WEEI)