Last Negro Leagues umpire speaks at MCC-Maple Woods

It turns out that there are many things you can do after shooting your big toe off in the beach trenches of World War II, and becoming a pioneering umpire in the Negro Baseball Leagues is one of them.

After being discharged from the military, Byron Motley spent his life loving baseball and proudly filling one of its most important but most-hated positions. Today, he is the only living umpire of the Negro Baseball Leagues, having shared the field with Willie Mayes, Satchel Paige and other Hall of Famers that passed across his plate during baseball’s most tumultuous decades.

During his lecture at MCC-Maple Woods, Motley recalled the tense nights on the team bus of his first major league gig to his present-day place with the Kansas City Royals. As the segregated baseball leagues slip further and further into the past, Motley brings to life a league that changed the way the game was played then and now.