One of my research passions when it comes to baseball happens to be the Negro Leagues. I’ve always been fascinated by these players that did not get the recognition they deserved due to segregation. It’s one of the reasons I started to investigate integration and the Negro Leagues in Cleveland, work that became my master’s thesis and later my book, Integrating Cleveland Baseball. It’s also one of the reasons that I became involved with SABR’s (Society for American Baseball Research) Negro Leagues Committee. This committee is involved in a lot of events throughout the year; there is a conference to honor Negro League baseball each summer, and money is donated to pay for headstones on the unmarked graves of former players. The committee also provides grants to school libraries to purchase books, and also hosts an essay competition each year for high school seniors. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information on this year’s essay contest – if you’re a high school senior who plans to attend a post-secondary institution next year, or you happen to know a high school senior that meets these requirements, this contest may be of interest to you.
To enter the competition, you will need a few items in addition to the completed essay. You will also submit a completed application (attached at the bottom of this post), a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, guidance counselor, or school administrator, lists of high school and community activities, and of course, your essay.
The essay should be 1,000 words or less, and will be written based upon one of two prompts:
1. What influence or impact did the Negro Leagues have on African American communities, past or present?
2. What is the legacy of Satchel Paige?
Pick one of those two prompts (the one with which you are more comfortable) and make sure cite all examples and references. The essay should be typed in 12-point font, double spaced, and in Times New Roman font; you should use endnotes for your citations. All applications must be postmarked no later than March 4, 2013. The mailing address is listed on the attached application.
There are more details supplied on the attached application that should hopefully answer any questions. If you have remaining questions, there are people to contact that should be able to help. One of the questions I’ve frequently received is “do you have to be a high school senior? Can you be a high school junior, or a college freshman?” The answer is no. You must be a current high school senior that plans to attend a post-secondary institution next year.
The prize is a $2,500 scholarship; there will be two of these prizes awarded.
Some words of advice:
- Thoroughly read the instructions on the attached application, and make sure to follow all directions.
- Put some effort into your essay, and make sure to properly cite your sources.
- Don’t plagiarize. You may think people won’t catch you, but they will.
Here is the application and instructions. Good luck!