MAURY WILLS–THE LITTLE FELLOWS THAT FOLLOWED HIM!
I was watching an episode of the popular television show America’s Got Talent. The show featured Archie Williams. He spent 37 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit–RAPE and MURDER! The DNA of a serial rapist freed him three years ago.
The question from host/executive producer Simon Cowell was, “How did you survive?” He answered saying, “My body was in prison but not my mind.” In other words FREEDOM is of the mind.
The song he sang, “Don’t Let the Sun Fall Down On Me” was a dedicated to what happen to him in 1982 can still happen to any black man in America in 2022. This brings me back to Maury Wills, he did not “Let the Sun Fall Down on Him.”
Maury, followed the lead of the World’s first black Heavyweight Champion, Jack Johnson, the great athlete, scholar and actor, Paul Roberson, the imcomparable basebal pioneer and civil rights leader, Jackie Robinson, last but not least, The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.
They all understood the most important game being played in America was not football, baseball or basketball–it is “The Game Called Life.” It is the only game being played where being called a Super-Star truly means something.
Maury, decided he was going to be a FREE black man in his lifetime. Archie Williams said it best, “The system locked up my body and not my mind.” Black men can not let the system lock up their minds!
Maury left a trail in in his NE DC Parkside housing project, for little fellows that followed him, like his brother Donald and me. There were athletes who followed us from the projects with names like Cecil Turner, Jimmy Bland, Kenneth Springfield, Alfonso Lawson, Gus Lee, Roger Scott and Darryl Hill (honorary Parksider).
The little fellows that followed Maury, Donald and me, left an impact in their communities. They became NFL players, teachers, principals, psychiatrist, FBI agent, sports talk show host and the first black to play at the Naval Academy and in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference).
Roger Scott aka “Shoes” is considered the best all-around athlete to ever come out of the Parkside housing project.
My 50+ years in sports media, writing as an freelancer for the Afro-American, New York Amsterdam, New Observer, Washington Times, and Washington Post newspapers, add blogs for the Bleacher Report, I know Fake News when I see it! As a talk show host on AM Gospel radio, the weakest signal in the radio universe my audience was far-few and in between. Still I successfully campaigned for two local blackballed pro athletes from the DMV in support of them being enshired into their hall of fames. Green Bay Packer great Willie Wood (NFL) was one, and Washington/Syracuse Nationals, Earl Lloyd (NBA) was the other. I also campaigned for LA Dodger great Maury Wills (MLB) but I came up short.
Willie was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989, and Earl into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2003.
I hate looking back wishing I could have and should have, but I had Washington Times sports columnist, Dick Heller, All-Pro NFL and Green Bay Packer LB Dave Robinson in Willie’s corner. Earl Lloyd, I had Red Auerbach (NBA Hall of Fame), Sam Jones (NBA Hall of Fame), Congressman John Lewis (civil rights icon) and Dick Heller on his team. Maury, had no such support, but I still believed the support was out there.
It is often said, “It ain’t over to the Fat Lady sings.” I am on the way out and not on the way in. This is where the Wills Gang and Ebenezer AME can pick the ball up where I left off.
Yes Maury, wanted to be voted into the baseball hall of fame, yes he deserves to be in there, he earned it. But the most important hall of fame–is God’s Hall of Fame. The Player-Haters and KKK have no vote.
THE MAURY WILLS FIELD ON GEORGIA AVENUE CORRIDOR IN NW WASHINGTON, DC
Webinar: NABJ Sam Lacy Awards Program by NABJ (bigmarker.com)
WORDS TO LIVE BY:
YOU CANNOT SOAR WITH EAGLES IF YOU ARE HANGING OUT WITH CHICKENS
EVERY BLACK FACE YOU SEE IS NOT YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER AND EVERY WHITE FACE YOU SEE IS NOT YOU YOUR ENEMY