March 8, 2010 Rotogram

WELCOME TO THE 2010 AWARDS BANQUET

Master of Ceremonies Martha Wells, President

Invocation and Pledge  

Introduction of Guests Tommy Tomlinson, Vice President

Rodeo and Golf Tournament Community Service Projects Martha Wells

Community Service Award Roy Ruby

Service Above Self Awards  Tommy Tomlinson

John Mitchell Rookie of the Year  Joe Fratesi, 2009 Winner

Rotarian of the Year  Ned Browning, 2009 Winner

Adjourn Rotary Motto

NEXT WEEK

Art Cosby, Director of Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center will speak next week.

LAST WEEK

Invocation and Pledge: Alan Tucker

Attendance: There were 110 members (34 exempt) present and 81 (14 exempt, 12 honorary) absent.

Guests and visitors: Guests of members were Kristi Brown of Kim Richardson, JoAnn Anthony of Bricklee Miller and Kathy Marcum of Dave Marcum. Guests of the Club were Youth Exchange students Kasper Eriksen and Francesa Scaravelli.

New member: Attending her first meeting as a member was Barbara Spencer, associate dean for Research and Outreach with MSU’s College of Business.

Kudos: President Martha complimented Sherry and David Vanlandingham on being featured as unsung heroes in the Starkville Daily News’progress edition.

TAX REMINDER

The annual charitable deduction allowance for your Rotary dues is $201, plus any Paul Harris contribution.

PETS CONFERENCE

President-elect Tommy Tomlinson, reporting on the annual Presidents-Elect Training Seminar in Vicksburg, said, “It’s impressive to see Stu Vance, Jack Forbus and Bill Foster (former district governors) walk in and the group jump to attention.”

      Larry Mullins, assistant district governor, reported that thousands of volunteers will be needed for the 2011 Rotary International meeting in New Orleans. This gathering will be one of the best-ever opportunities for local Rotarians to attend along with 30,000 to 35,000 others from around the world.

GROUP STUDY EXCHANGE

Let Sherry Vanlandingham know if you can host a member of our Italian GSE team on April 9-12.

ROTARY MINUTE – POLIO

Stu Vance reported that, at this point in the year, there are only 33 documented cases of polio worldwide, compared to 1604 at the same time last year. He cited four points that make this a prime time to complete Rotary’s quarter-century commitment to polio eradication:

  1. Scientists have customized serum to target each of the three strains of the virus.
  2. The world’s political winds are favorable.
  3. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds are now at work.
  4. Optimism is high with the movement’s leaders.

      Polio still is present in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Senegal, Chad and Nigeria.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW — AFRICAN AMERICAN BASEBALL HISTORY

The story of African American baseball and the Negro Leagues is incredible, but says one of its leading students, “It’s a story that should never ever have been told.”

      Glenn Lautzenhiser, Columbus community leader and retired businessman, said, “It’s fundamentally wrong to deny a man or a woman the right to be all they can be by taking their God-given abilities and coupling that with hard work.”

      Lautzenhiser opened with a quiz about the first

African American to play major league baseball. Contrary to popular notion, Jackie Robinson was not the pioneer. Moses Fleetwood Walker played for the American Association’s Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. The first professional African-American player was Bud Fowler with the Lynn Live Oaks in Massachusetts in 1878.

      “The Negro Leagues that started in Kansas City in 1920 were very important in African-American baseball, but were not the sum total experience,” said Lautzenhiser.

      Elisha Scott, who later argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court in 1954, was instrumental in the league’s inception.

      Because they did not make a lot of money, the players had to make a living other ways. In the off-season, many would join with players from the white leagues and barnstorm the country in exhibition games. Cuban, Mexican and Venezuelan winter leagues also were off-season venues.

      Between 1900 and 1955, black teams played white teams 436 times, winning 268 games.

      Starkville’s own Cool Papa Bell played on the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords, considered the best Negro Leagues team ever. And, Lautzenhiser argues they were as good as or better than the vaunted 1927 New York Yankees. The team fielded five Hall of Famers including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, Oscar Charleston and Cool Papa.

      Bell, the swiftest player ever in the game, could run the bases faster on a wet field than any player can today on a dry one. His time was 12 seconds.

      Lautzenhiser illustrated Bell’s character by recounting the 1946 batting championship race. Cool Papa stepped aside in order for a younger player to establish his reputation and get to the major leagues.

      Had Bill Veeck been able to buy the Philadelphia Phillies in 1942, Bell would have been one of the first five black players in the majors.

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