Retired Negro League Pitcher Returns Home


Nathan
Nathan “BoBo” Smalls

Nathan “BoBo” Smalls, native Savannahian, spent the past two weeks speaking to youngsters in schools and recreation centers in Savannah and the Low Country of South Carolina.

Smalls addressed two history classes at Savannah State University.

Also, he was interviewed by Marva Harris and Heru Iman of the Ralph Mark Gilbert Museum and Egypt, local media personality of Clear Channel Radio.

As Retired Colonel Theodus Drayton remarked after hearing him speak to students at Ridgeland High School (South Carolina), BoBo Smalls has a message.

His message to young people is a 10 point plan: Be respectable; Be your own person; Don’t Let anybody tell you what you can’t do; You don’t have to fit in; Just say “NO”; Be responsible; Learn to listen; Ask for help; Find someone you can trust; Pray Daily.

Lizzie Shellman of the St. Paul’s Academy for Boys and Margaret Thomas, Herbert Glaze, and Sheila Cato of The Ninth Grade Academy and Alternative Academy at Beaufort High School (SC) awarded Smalls with gifts and a Certificate of Appreciation.

After each of his speeches, students and adults gave standing ovations and asked for autographs.

Other venues in Savannah included Haven Elementary, Scott Alternative, Beach High, Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club in Kayton Homes.

When Smalls addressed the students in two history classes at SSU, he congratulated them for choosing to attend college.

He also demonstrated the antics that made him famous.

These antics include playing shadow (Imaginary) ball and throwing four baseballs to four different players on the field from one hand at simultaneously.

He donated sports memorabilia to Savannah State University Athletic Director, Bart Belairs, as well as, to the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club and to each of the schools on his tour.

Smalls ended his Savannah tour by throwing out the first pitch for the Sand Gnats second game Friday, April 10.

Nathan “BoBo” Smalls started playing with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1965.

He was voted the MVP nine times; played and pitched in more games than anyone in Clown’s history; pitched six one-hitters in 1965; won 30 games for three consecutive years.

He played 22 years for one team, longer than anyone in Black Baseball history and is the last Black barnstormer in baseball history.

His memoirs will be published by the end of this year.

For more information on Smalls, website: www.bobosmalls.com or contact Dr. Richie Reed at hatshepsutrdw @yahoo.com.

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