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Sam Lacy’s birth in 1903 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black journalist.
Sam Lacy grew up in Washington, D.C., played semi-pro baseball, coached municipal basketball, attended Howard University, and performed odd jobs before becoming a professional sportswriter. Lacy's career in print journalism began in the 1920s, working as a sports writer at the Washington Tribune under the guidance of Editor Lewis Lautier. He was managing editor and sports editor there from 1934-39 before moving to Chicago as assistant national editor for the Chicago Defender from 1940-43.
He returned to Baltimore to become a columnist and sports editor for the weekly Baltimore Afro-American Newspapers, positions he still holds today. He wrote the widely popular column "A to Z" for many years. Through 17 presidential elections, this crusader in the 1930s and '40s devoted his columns to desegregating baseball in the major leagues.
Lacy had been "fighting for fairness" for African American athletes for almost 65 years, railing against racism and segregation that prevailed for decades in U.S. sports, courts, and legislatures. Lacy is recognized as a pioneer in baseball journalism. He was one of the first Black members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and a 1997 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. During his career, Lacy covered the careers of many Black athletes and numerous sporting events, including six Olympic Games.
As a result of his efforts, he has received many awards given by sports, journalism, and academic establishments. In 1998, he was inducted into the "writers' wing" of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sam Lacy died on May 8, 2003
20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of major league Baseball
Copyright 1999, Publications International Ltd.