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Meet the Players :: Ted Rasberry

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Name: Ted Rasberry
DOB: October 8, 1913
Birthplace: West Point, Mississippi
Kansas City Monarchs 1956
New Orleans/ Detroit Stars 1957
Detroit Stars 1958,1959,1960
 

Position: manager, owner, pitcher Bats: right Throws: right



Ted was raised in West Point, Mississippi. He was one of six children growing up with two brothers and three sisters. His early education years took place in a one-room schoolhouse, quite typical for that era. He liked school and was a creative child. Loving baseball as he did he would try to convince his classmates to help him cut out a baseball diamond on the school's playground. It was in his high school years that he knew he would pursue a career working with children, he just didn't know to what capacity.

He attended MIC in West Point and later returned to Hopewell Cedar Bluff to teach sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Ted's desire to invest in the lives of the local children led to his opening the first boys and girls club in the area.

In 1935 Ted moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent time with his uncle's family and where he would ultimately call home Ted played ball as often as he could. Second base and outfield is where he was most comfortable playing, and when he was not in the starting line-up, he was very often called upon to pinch hit.

In 1944 a factory team sought Ted's assistance on the local baseball diamonds. He played here for a few years while he helped organize the Grand Rapids Black Sox. Satchel Paige would pitch for Ted with this team, taking the field with "Captain" Walter Cole and Frank Lamar. In 1947 he entered the team into two divisions where they battled their way to win both league championships. It 1953, Ted tried to bring a team from his hometown Grand Rapids into the Negro Leagues but ran into resistance because the town was just too small. Ted assessed the alternatives and brought the Detroit Stars into the league. Mr. Davies, a New Orleans businessman, bought into the team, which led to the name Detroit-New Orleans Stars. In the closing years of the 1950's and beginning of the 1960's, the team would play as the Detroit Stars.

It was here that Ted came to know the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball and basketball fame more personally. Raspberry was a player manager and owner of the Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars. When the Globetrotters broke up, the Goose Tatum All Stars would sometimes use the Detroit Stars' bus.

Ted's friend and fellow NLB Living Legend, Frank Evans, worked for the Detroit and Kansas City organizations in the mid to late 1950's. Rasberry loved to share stories of his involvement in the Negro Leagues, as well as his sport interests in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1956, Willie Lee, another NLB Living Legend, stayed in Grand Rapids with Ted while he pitched for the Kansas City Monarchs managed by "Dizzy" Dismuke.

As Negro Leagues Baseball met its demise, Ted was right there. He fielded teams in 1961 and 1962, before seeing the league fade-away somewhere in the midst of the 1963 season. Mr. Rasberry's involvement in the sporting community in Grand Rapids has been his life. On June 22, of 2000, Grand Rapids named the ballpark at the corner of Jefferson and Highland in his honor.

To his final day, Ted was involved in promoting and managing. He was the booking agent for the Fabulous Harlem Travelers.

Historical Note - Goose Tatum of the Globetrotters brought Rookie Brown to Ted Rasberry and the Harlem Satellites. Rookie brought great talent to the Satellites known at that time as the New York Harlem Satellites.





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