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Published: Monday, 9/3/2001 - Updated: 1 year ago

Negro league was key at Swayne Field

Your story regarding Swayne Field brought back a wealth of memories, since I spent many childhood hours at Swayne Field.

I believe one major part of the history was missed when you did not mention Negro American League baseball. My father, the late Hank Rigney, brought that facet of baseball to Toledo and to the black community. I remember seeing Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Satchel Paige, and many more play for the Kansas City Monarchs, New York Clowns, Birmingham Black Barons, etc.

In addition, Jesse Owens ran many races at Swayne Field against local athletes, even a horse and motorcycle. In those days you did whatever you could to make a living and my dad and Jesse worked together to make what was then considered a good living. But they worked hard.

I remember my father being a scout for the St. Louis Browns when they held the franchise for the Toledo Mud Hens and his being called to Branch Rickey's office in New York, along with Bill Veeck, to help in making the transition of a black baseball player to the major leagues. Was Jackie Robinson the greatest player in the league at that time? Who knows? The real decision which was made is the fact Jackie Robinson was felt to be the Negro athlete who could best make the transition and represent his race well. We all know he did this and because of the caliber of man he was, many more athletes began to break into the ranks of major league baseball.

All of this is a part of the Swayne Field story and the Toledo story.

HELYN RIGNEY CARR

Maumee

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To all the local editorialists and national doomsayers The Blade likes to trot out as evidence that our president has ruined the economy by reducing the national surplus I say, “Grow up!” Of course the President has reduced the surplus. Of course the shrinking surplus will prevent to some extent various agencies and potential grant recipients from doing some good. It will harm some college programs, hurt agriculture, industry, scientific investigation, and any one of a thousand other programs that benefit society.

Grownups know that even in a rich country like ours there are finite limits to what any government can spend. They also realize that any village, township, county, state or country in the world has more worthwhile projects than it can fund and that any tax surplus and more will be absorbed by government spending.

It takes common sense to know this, which is the reason why the hot, new, fresh from England, idea of more and more government spending brought over from England by John Kennedy, has been completely abandoned by reason of empiric evidence.

Our ratio of national debt to gross national product is now at the lowest point since 1917. We are retiring debt as it becomes due. I received my $600 check and loved it. What a great treat! Will the country collapse? Should I suffer remorse? Not in your lifetime!

BRUCE SAMPLE

Woodville

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The Aug. 22 article concerning the Veterans Service Commission was most informative. I learned two things that I had previously been unaware of: First, that I am a drug addict, and second, that the VSC offers job placement services.

It is strange, but the very first thing I asked about when I first sought services from the VSC was whether they could assist me in finding employment. The answer at that time was no. Now, according to Robert Mettler, most of we veterans who seek assistance from his agency need drug-addiction therapy.

Obviously, Mr. Mettler doesn't have much of an opinion of the people his agency assists. The veterans of Lucas County are owed a major apology.

THOMAS CARTER

Everett Street

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A recent letter claimed there is a recognized right under our Constitution to carry a concealed weapon. I don't believe there were many firearms capable of being easily concealed when our Constitution and Bill of Rights were written. The writer also made reference to a treatise by Martin Luther. I fail to see the need for a theological connection to the issue of concealed carry.

His assumption that everyone who would carry a concealed weapon will be well-versed in the proper use of deadly force is naive. Also, can we count on prospective, concealed-gun toters to store their weapons properly? The mere lack of a felony conviction is no guarantee of responsible gun ownership or use.

I'm sure there are many responsible gun owners out there, but it is unreasonable for them to assume that everyone is as responsible as they are. I'm sure there are many citizens who believe it is their right to be free from the fear of concealed weapons in public places.

MIKE O'DELL

Tulane Avenue

I am all for women's rights, but I was shocked by the woman who said only men should be banned from using cell phones in the car. What a nasty, pig-headed response! She's probably a scorned, man-hating divorcee.

My own spouse takes care of my kids in the day while I am at work and is great at it. He does things even I don't know whether I could. I respect him for what he does, and he respects me.

I constantly see women putting on makeup, talking on cell phones, and almost causing accidents. Every person, male or female, should use caution while using cell phones in vehicles. Let's give the men in our lives some credit; they deserve it! And to that woman: Have a nice life alone!

LINDA MEEK

Luscombe Drive

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The heart and soul of the problems in the LaGrange Street neighborhoods are not the Polish Village. As such, that entity existed sans appellation long before the LaGrange Development Corp.

The creation of “Polish International Village” by LDC is the root of the village crime, theft, burglaries, dog fights, arrests, and investor-owned rental properties.

In the days before the interlopers (read LDC), the “Polish Village” was a safe, homogeneous, happy, place with few if any of the above conditions. Credit and/or blame where they are due, please!

JUSTIN LEE HUGHES

Bronson Avenue

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In typical right-wing fashion, Linda Bowles clouds the issues with prejudicial half-truths and innuendoes. The same strategy is used by the right-wing stations on the air waves. It's insidious because most voters prefer sound bites to checking the facts.

While touting themselves as the “moral” choice, right-wingers fail to see the forest for the trees (except to cut the lumber). These manipulators of single-issue voting will defend the life of the unborn to get votes from religious groups, yet oppose or hinder other moral life issues. In fact, if we would take a morality poll based on the beliefs of the great religions of the world, right-wingers would lose to those damnable Democrats.

Based on the actions of Congress and the White House, the moral topics of little concern to right-wingers are clean air and water, the escalation of arms and new weapons, health and safety in the work place, and a living minimum wage. If anyone thinks that the other life issues are not as important as the abortion issue, consider that no infants are possible without parents.

PAUL SZYMANOWSKI

Curtice

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I'd like to know how many people must die on I-75 before officials decide that doing five miles of construction at one time, bottle-necking three lines into one (plus an entrance ramp at I-280), is not such a good idea.

Maybe in the future, when the city makes plan to do this, they will factor in all the “live” sacrifices that will be made. (May they all rest in peace).

CARMELA GARCIA

Eleanor Avenue



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