Page 35 - Salem Magazine Spring 2016
P. 35

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Learn more about LeGrande’s Life
Larry LeGrande’s Biography – “I Found Someone to Play With”
The 232 page paperback was published in 2015 and is available through Amazon.
Cover Courtesy Tate Publishing
“I have had some incredible experiences thanks to baseball.” says the now 76-year-old LeGrande. “I thanked Mr. Harmon time and time again for letting me out of school to go on that tryout in Memphis.”
LeGrande was invited to the White House in 2007 to commemorate Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.
ALL FOR $5
April 29 THE KINGS
May 20 FUZZY LOGIC
June 24 SUPERHOLD
July 22 DOMINO
Aug. 12 JIM QUICK & COASTLINE
of years barnstorming with the Satchel Paige All-Stars. LeGrande was behind the plate catching when Paige pitched his final game.
LeGrande was more than impressive. The following spring he was hitting 304 and leading the Florida State League in triples and his team in run production as a member of the St. Petersburg Saints.
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Despite the stats, the Yankees released him rather than pay Kansas City the final installment of the $5,000 they paid for his contract. In his short time with the Saints, LeGrande had become a fan favorite, but looking back, he was apparently too popular for a black man in 1959. To this day, LeGrande believes his dismissal had more to do with the color of his skin than the color of money.
“They never would tell me why they released me,” he says. “I was batting third in the lineup and hitting the ball to all fields, so it made absolutely no sense.”
After a brief return to Roanoke, he returned to the Monarchs and was reunited with Paige. The two then traveled the country and much of North America for a handful
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