Questions for "Prince" Joe Henry

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Michael
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Questions for "Prince" Joe Henry

Post by Michael »

I am pleased to announce that former Negro League All-Star, "Prince" Joe Henry, has granted our request for an interview! Please join us in welcoming Mr. Henry to gatewayredbirds.com!

Please see our Q&A Guidelines

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Memphis Red Sox 1950-52 (NAL)
Indianapolis Clowns 1955 (NAL)
Indianapolis Clowns 1955-56 (IND)
Detroit Clowns 1957-58 (IND)
Detroit Clowns 1958 (NAL)
Detroit Stars 1958-59 (NAL)
Detroit Clowns 1959 (w/ Goose Tatum, IND)



Injuries put an end to a two-plus-season stint holding down second base for the Memphis Red Sox in the early 1950’s, but Henry resurfaced in 1955 with the storied Indianapolis Clowns franchise. Henry's showmanship at third base during two seasons in Indianapolis, a team that counts home-run king Henry Aaron among its alumni and is often compared to basketball's Harlem Globetrotters, earned him the nickname "Prince Joe." After sitting out 1957, Prince Joe was coaxed back to the diamond by Detroit Stars owner Ted Rasberry, who renamed his team "Goose Tatum's Detroit Clowns" after the famous Globetrotter and Negro League phenom.

In the hot summer heat, Joe Henry dons tails and top hat to entertain the fans. He painted his shoes red and sometimes turned his back to the pitcher during the windup.

Recalling his days in the league he said, "As I look back, it was the best experience I ever had in my life... the Negro Leagues took me to just about every state in the country and Canada. I had an offer from Goose Tatum to go with him to Europe, but it was across the water and I didn't like to fly."

Link- Be sure to check out Mr. Henry's letter to the MLB Assistance Team. You can find it on the right hand side of the web page.

In addition to his efforts on behalf of retired Negro League players, Mr.Henry is a staff writer with the weekly publication, The Riverfront Times. Ask a Negro Leaguer

You can see an excellent article by Mike Seely from espn.com regarding Mr. Henry
Here



Many thanks to Tambourine Man for setting up the interview!

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thrill
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Post by thrill »

Thanks a lot for coming and sharing your wisdom with us!

Who was the best position player and pitcher you ever played against?

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JohnnyJay
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Post by JohnnyJay »

Mr. Henry,

Its seems like you actually enjoyed the game of baseball when you played. And I feel that that is something that is lacking in some of today's players. If you were a young lad today, would you want to play in the game still, as it is today?

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JL21
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Post by JL21 »

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions.

If you had been given the opportunity to play Major League Baseball, would you have done it? Or was there enough resentment on your part about being excluded that you would have continued playing in the Negro Leagues?

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JL21
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Post by JL21 »

Recently, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a large article citing the dwindling popularity of baseball among African-American youth. How does that make you feel? What, if anything, could or should be done to bring baseball to the black community?

Michael
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Post by Michael »

Thank you for taking our questions!

Any funny stories about life on the road while playing baseball? Any good pranks?


What were the cowards for the negro league games?

jim
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Post by jim »

Where do I start?

1. The Negro leagues were known for a more exciting brand of game, especially with some daring baserunning, a style Jackie Robinson brought with him to the major leagues. With today's emphasis on the homerun, it seems like baseball is reverting back to a more cautious approach to baserunning. How do you feel about watching today's style of game compared to the style you played?

2. The sketchy records kept seem to show that Negro league teams played MLB teams in exhibition games, the Negro leagues came out on top by a pretty good amount (I've heard as high as winning 65% of the game). Where would you compare the talent level in the Negro leagues compared to the major leagues at the time?

3. How many pitches did Satchel Paige use?

4. Can you describe your feelings when you found out that Jackie Robinson would be playing for the Dodgers? In many ways, the day Jackie put on the Dodger uniform spelled the beginning of the end for the Negro Leagues. Any mixed emotions with that?


and lastly,...

5. How on God's Green Earth did Buck O'Neal not get into Cooperstown?


I could go on forever. I will be very appreciative of any questions you can answer.

Thank you very much for taking time to answer our questions.

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Post by Fat Strat »

Thanks so much for answering our questions.

Can you tell us who first gave you the nickname "Prince" and why?

Is there any player in baseball right now that would fit in well with the style of play (and personality) that characterized the negro leagues?

What's your favorite memory from your ball playing days?

jim
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Post by jim »

This is going to be a tough question, probably better suited to a dinner discussion, but I'll try anyway...

I sense that baseball history is losing it's appeal to the younger generations. Baseball is no longer the only game in town, and those younger people will still admire the current stars, but the history of the game seems to be losing some interest. Do you have any ideas no how baseball history in general, and specifically the history of the Negro leagues, can be made accessible to the younger generation in a form they will appreciate?

And more specific to the Negro League, do you sense that the history of the Negro leagues has been underappreciated over time?

jim
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Post by jim »

Who were the top catchers in the negro leagues during your time?

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