Sabathia, Granderson honor heroes
While other athletes were referencing their celebrity pals or fellow athletes on Twitter, all February long CC Sabathia and Curtis Granderson were dropping some truly obscure names, like Norman "Turkey" Stearns, Ernest "Boojum" Wilson and Willie "The Devil" Wells, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The two players decided to honor Black History Month by bringing their 100,000 combined Twitter followers back to the 1940s, and offering up daily trivia on former Negro League players. Sabathia named a player each day as his Black History Month "hero."
Sabathia said it was his wife Amber's idea, but he got into it when developing the list of players he would use every day. Sabathia and Granderson are among a relatively small number of African-American players in the game today, and they said they feel a responsibility to get the word out about the contributions of the Negro Leaguers.
"I definitely think so, especially with the lack of African Americans in the game now, just knowing where we came from, and knowing the history of the black players, is pretty cool," Sabathia said.
Their fans did not always love it. Granderson's respondents in particular often demanded that he get back to baseball. But the outfielder said there was plenty of other places to get either "drama and controversy," or daily updates on the minutae of Yankee spring training.
"This era's kind of lost touch with its history, and with a couple seconds and a couple sentences, a lot of people will either remember, or a lot of people will know about something they had never known about," Granderson said.
He said he planned to continue the trivia through the season.