Sunday, May 15, 2016

Under One Roof, by Adam Henig - A Look at MLB Spring Training and Integration

Adam Henig has written a very interesting book about what for most of us is a little known fact.  This is about racism in Major League Baseball during Spring Training in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The year is 1961, and the teams in question were the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.  Ralph Wimbish, a well-to-do-black doctor living in St. Petersburg, was determined to put an end to it.  Jon Wilson, a sports writer in Tampa and an author, said about Under One Roof: The Yankees, the Cardinals, and a Doctor's Battle to Integrate Spring Training:

This book will need to be on every baseball historian's shelf, but also every civil rights historian's shelf and it is a must-read for those who cherish Florida history.
This is a short book (100 pages) and a very quick read.  But Adam gives us sports buffs (and everybody else, too) a slice of history that is definitely well worth knowing.  The amount of crazy facts that he gives had me shaking my head on a number of occasions.   I even had a "Wow" and "Unh" thrown in there, along with a big smile near the end of the book when Adam tells us about Ralph's wife, Bette, and their kids.  In fact, Ralph Wimbish Jr. wrote the forward for the book.

Here are a couple more quotes:

There should be a life-size statue of Dr. Ralph Wimbish on the streets of St. Petersburg. Dr. Wimbish was to this city what Dr. Martin Luther King was to the country. Adam Henig's terrific new book, Under One Roof, beautifully tells the whole inspirational story.  - Peter Golenbock, author

Adam Henig's painstaking research shines a light on a special man, Dr. Ralph Wimbish, whose courage and resolve eased some of the pain brought by racial segregation.  Under One Roof is a baseball book-and much more. - Bill Stevens, Tampa Bay Times

I reiterate that you don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate this book.  This is another little slice of history that all of us can appreciate.


  1. I love books like this and so admire people like Dr. Wimbish who stand up for injustice.