James "Deacon" White

James White was a teenager living in his hometown of Caton, New York when he first learned to play baseball from a group of Civil War veterans. By all accounts, White was a natural athlete and ball player. By the 1870s there were enough professional teams in the country to start a league. On May 4, 1871 James “Deacon” White made history when he had the hit during the first at-bat, in the first major league all-professional baseball game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcaW7j5j4m4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Clara Cook

In December of 1941, America was thrust into World War II and thousands of young men and women answered the call to enlist. This included star athletes and Major League Baseball players like Bob Feller, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio. In order to keep the sport of professional baseball vibrant and in the public eye during the war, baseball executives formed a new league – The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. One of the leagues first players was a fast pitch left-hander named Clara Cook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OhieuZy87w

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:

Path Through History
Chemung Valley History Museum
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Photos Courtesy of:
Chemung County Historical Society

Join WSKG for a Special Sneak Peek at Ken Burns's 'Jackie Robinson'

Join WSKG April 7 at 6:30PM, at our studio in Vestal, for a special sneak peek at the new documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns – JACKIE ROBINSON. We will be showing 40 minutes from the two-part, four-hour film. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and an RSVP is required. Write to rsvp@wskg.org or call 607-729-0100. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqizYxTxnjI

JACKIE ROBINSON, is directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, and will air April 11 and 12, at 9:00 p.m. on WSKG TV.

New Film From Ken Burns Tells the Story of Jackie Robinson

JACKIE ROBINSON, a new two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, will air April 11 and 12, at 9:00 p.m. on WSKG TV. The film chronicles the life and times of Robinson, his breaking of baseball’s color barrier and his lifelong fight for equality on and off the field. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr5P8dcn3n4

“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” said Ken Burns. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”

In addition to interviews with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and their surviving children, Sharon and David, the film features interviews with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; former Dodgers teammates Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine and Ralph Branca; writers Howard Bryant and Gerald Early; Harry Belafonte; Tom Brokaw; and Carly Simon.

James "Deacon" White

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James “Deacon” White was born in Canton, NY in 1847. On May 4, 1871, White had the first hit during the first at bat in the first all professional major league baseball game. He is considered to be one of the greatest catchers during the era when baseball became America’s pastime. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Learn more about White, including how he got the nickname “Deacon,” in this conversation between WSKG’s Sarah Gager and Shane Johnson.