|John Berry of the Negro Leagues
The Negro Baseball League was extremely popular in the 1920s, as teams like the Kansas City Monarchs, Cincinnati Clowns, and St. Louis Giants barnstormed the countryside with their fast-paced brand of baseball. By 1937, there were two primary leagues: the eastern-based Negro National League and the Negro American League, mostly in the Midwest. During the 1930s and 40s, Negro League players produced stars such as Satchel Paige, Cool Pappa Bell, Roy Campanella, Buck O'Neill, and many more. One player, John Berry, had lived in York, Nebraska, according to Birdie Farr.
Birdie Farr says that John Berry lived on 16th Street in York and that he liked it here. He left the Negro Leagues after some family trouble and continued to play semi-pro. "I think they went around playing ball in a lot of small towns at that time," Birdie says.
According to The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, John Paul Berry played for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1935-36, with the St. Louis Stars in 1937 and returned to Kansas City in 1945. "He was a pitcher with the St. Louis Stars and the Kansas City Monarchs during the late 1930s, and returned for a final wartime season as a first baseman in 1945." [The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by James A. Riley, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 1994, page 81.]
Written by Bill Ganzel, the Ganzel Group. First written and published in 2003.