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      Texas Tech University Press                    




  News release


Our White Boy

by Jerry Craft, with Kathleen Sullivan

Foreword by Larry Lester

Now available

$29.95 cloth, 6 x9, 272 pages, 20 photos, 978-0-89672-674-1


DATE: 3/10/2010

CONTACT:  Barbara Brannon, Texas Tech University Press, 806.742.2982



"Jackie Robinson in reverse":

Texas rancher and businessman tells of his experiences as

"white boy" baseball pitcher in the West Texas Colored League


At the outset of summer break in 1959, Texas Tech senior Jerry Craft had no more enticing options than to stay home and help on the family ranch—so the telephoned offer to play for a semipro baseball club he'd never heard of came as a welcome surprise. But Craft was in for an even bigger surprise when he reported for tryout and discovered he'd been recruited for the West Texas Colored League.


Craft's experience of his two resulting seasons with the Wichita Falls/Graham Stars was tagged by the Dallas Morning News in 1998 as "Jackie Robinson in reverse." Craft, a rancher and businessman in Jacksboro, Texas (and former mayor of his hometown), has now put his story into writing, in a candid and engaging memoir, "Our White Boy," out this spring by Texas Tech University Press.


Looking back on those years before the Civil Rights movement, Craft relates an unlikely story of respect, character, humor, and ultimately friendship as the teammates pulled together to succeed in a game they loved.


The book, along with "Playing in Shadows: Texas and Negro League Baseball" by Rob Fink, launches TTUP's book series Sport in the American West. Edited by Jorge Iber, the new series examines the impact of sport throughout the region and seeks to illuminate how sport intersects historically with such cultural issues as race, ethnicity, gender, and class.


Advance praise for Our White Boy


"Jerry Craft has given us an engaging and finally touching book.  It is a story of racial harmony in an era of racial distrust. I highly recommend it." —Larry McMurtry

"As a teammate and friend of Jackie Robinson's when Branch Rickey broke the color line in 1947, I fully appreciate Jerry Craft's experience and his memorable story." —Bobby Bragan, catcher, Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947


"A remarkable story of an era in American sports that is long gone . . . a riveting read." —Skip Hollandsworth



Biographical background


Jerry Craft, rancher and former mayor of Jacksboro, Texas, and a pioneer in the national cable television industry, lives in Jacksboro and operates ranches in Texas and New Mexico.


Kathleen Sullivan, who holds degrees from Baylor University and Arizona State University, has taught at the University of Texas at Arlington and Southern Methodist University. A member of the Sport Literature Association and the Society for American Baseball Research, she is the author of reviews and articles on sport literature and "Women Characters in Baseball Literature:A Critical Study."  She lives in Arlington, Texas.


Larry Lester is co-chairman of the Negro Leagues Committee for the Society for American Baseball Research.


Contact information


Jerry Craft is available for interviews and speaking engagements. Further information is available at www.ourwhiteboy.com, or contact Nadine Craft, (940) 229-1923, nadine_craft9@yahoo.com

Local vendors interested in ordering the book may contact Texas Tech University Press at (800) 832-4042, fax (806) 742-2979. For more information or a review copy of the book, contact the TTUP marketing department, (806) 742-2982 or ttup.marketing@ttu.edu