The Big Little League

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Mayor Catherine Pugh with players on Opening Day 2016.  Photo courtesy of James Mosher Associates.
 
The memories are still vivid and come rushing forth for Rev. Quay Rich, one of the earliest alumni of West Baltimore’s nearly 60-year-old James Mosher Baseball little league, whose games are still played on its original two diamonds located behind James Mosher Elementary School at 2400 West Mosher Street.

“I still think it was the greatest game ever played in the James Mosher league,” said Rich, 68. “I was pitching against Stanley Williams. They called him ‘Poop.’ He was quite an athlete and quite a pitcher. It was the championship game in the second year of the league [in 1961].
“The Cubs versus the Athletics; I was on the Cubs. Mr. Meacham was coaching the Athletics, Mr. White was the coach of the Cubs. His wife called us ‘the mighty, mighty Cubs.’ I was the best left-handed pitcher in the league — that’s no boast, just a fact. … I had my good stuff; Poop had his fastball. I pitched a one-hitter and struck out 12 guys. Poop pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15. Jimmy Hurd hit a home run off me for the only hit. There was no fence back then; the ball just rolled and rolled. It kept on rolling, and Jimmy ran around the bases.”
Playing little league baseball is the stuff memories are made of, and Rich recalled the end of that game in great detail.
“Jimmy Hurd lived across the street from me on the 800 block of Monroe Street; he and Poop were neighbors,” said Rich, who later earned distinction as the first African-American member of the Baltimore Orioles’ front office staff, working as assistant director of season ticket and group sales from 1986-1994. “The Massey boys lived two blocks up. Jake Massey walked and stole second and third in the bottom of the last inning, and Mr. White had him running up and down the baseline. He taught us how to do that Jackie Robinson thing, and then I remember him yelling at Jake to ‘go!’ It was like that play with Jackie Robinson and Yogi Berra in the [1955] World Series. Jake got under the tag, but the umpire called him out, and the whole team started crying.”
The James Mosher little league, which is believed to be the oldest continuously running African-American little league, is still providing these types of memories and learning experiences for kids in West Baltimore.


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