Theodore Roosevelt “Double Duty” Radcliffe is one of those players who would have been a legend of the Major Leagues if he had been given a chance to play. Like Ernie Banks, he possessed a joie de vivre about the game that was irrepressible, and served as an important oral historian in his final years.
According to the New York Times obituary, Radcliffe emerged from obscurity in 1990, when the news media reported how he and his wife had been beaten and robbed while living in a housing project on Chicago's South Side. The Baseball Assistance Team, which aids needy former players, and the Chicago mayor's office helped the Radcliffes move into a church-run residence for the elderly.
From "Voices From the Great Black Baseball Leagues," by John Holway: "I've had a good life. We couldn't stay in the white hotels then. The only place we stayed in a white hotel was up around North Dakota or Canada. But then, some people never had the opportunity we had. Some people come along and dig ditches all their lives." He died in 2005 at the age of 103.
There is so much to tell about him, this will be the first of a couple of posts. #negroleague #negroleagues #baseball #baseballhalloffame #pittsburgh #homesteadgrays #chicago #baseballassistanceteam