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MDDC Hall of Famer Sam Lacy was a LeDroit Tiger

The second installement ofTim Lacy's rememberences of MDDC HOF'er Sam Lacy
By Tim Lacy

This week I’ll present another chapter in the young life of Sam Lacy, my pop.

Sam grew up in the U Street corridor of Washington, D.C., the mecca for colored people of the day. One of his buddies was Otto Hardwick, who later became a saxophonist for the Duke Ellington Band. On occasion, Sam would tag along to some of the gigs where Otto and his group of neighborhood band mates played. On one such occasion, the drummer went missing. At the encouragement of Otto, Sam sat in as guest drummer—anything for a buck. Having never held a pair of drumsticks in his life, this endeavor lasted until the first break when the band decided they would be better off with no drummer at all.

Another career opportunity down the tubes.

Being a good high school athlete, however, Sam decided to take on a job he knew best. He joined the LeDroit Tigers, a local semi pro team, as a pitcher. His notoriety on the mound led White teams to recruit him, though they billed him as an Algonquin Indian.

He had a drop pitch that would fall off a table, and he could break a curve ball three feet. Unfortunately, his fastball couldn’t break carbon paper.

This weakness was exposed in a game in Newport, R.I. during which a wind was blowing towards the mound. His junk pitches just hung over the plate, inviting hitters to tee off. After he was touched up for 11 runs in the first inning, he was given directions to the bus station.

Read the entire story here.

Editor's Note: Sam Lacy, often credited with helping Jackie Robinson break Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was inducted in the MDDC Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1994.
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