John Glenn - Class of 1946
 

Born July 28, 1928 in Moultrie, GA to Mr. John Glenn, Sr. and Mrs. Emma L. Glenn.

My professional baseball career spanned 14 years with three major league organization and a number of winter league seasons in the Caribbean as well.

But ironically, I played little baseball growing up in Colquitt County and only played football and basketball under Coach A. F Shaw at the Moultrie High School for Negro Youth.

I was a two-way end for Coach Shaw's Rams, using my speed and was often called upon to show off my splendid arm on occasion as well. Like many others who played for Coach Shaw. Coach Shaw didn't try to over coach, "He just taught what he knew."

Basketball may have been my best sport in high school, where I played for William H. Dennis. I attended Morehouse College in Altanta and played basketball for a year before joining the Marine Corps.

It was at Camp Pendleton while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps I was asked to join the camp's baseball team. While playing for the Marine Corps team I was spotted by a Brooklyn Dodgers scout and I signed a contract with the Dodgers in 1950.

When I signed with Brooklyn, this began a long, and sometimes frustrating journey through the Dodgers farm system. But I achieved a few firsts along the way. A center fielder throughout my career. In 1950 I played at Three Rivers in the Canadian American League. The next two years I was at Hornell, NY, where I played against fellow Moultrian R. C. Stevens, who was with the Pittsburgh Pirates farm team at Batavia, NY.

In 1953, Charley Neal and I intergraded the Piedmont League when we played for the Dodgers club at Newport News, VA. After another season at Newport News, it was on to Pueblo, Colo., and then to Macon where I was the first black to play for the Peaches.

I spent three season at Class AAA St. Paul, MN. In 1958, I finally got a call to report to the parent club, but I injured my knee while sliding and it required surgery.

Back in St. Paul in 1959, I was traded to the Cardinals, who finally gave me my ticket to the big leagues. Some of my teammates with the Cardinals were Stan Musial, Julian Javier, Ken Boyer, Curt Flood, Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver.

I think I might have had a better chance at becoming a major leaguer, but Duke Snider had center field locked up for the Dodgers. Most of my career were played before expansion and free agency.

My major league career consisted of 32 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960, with few complaints about a career that took me throughout the country, Canada, Mexico and to several stops in Latin America. "I wouldn't take anything for it".

"Baseball made it possible for me to know what life was all about and to live with people of different cultures."

In 1961, I was sent to Rochester. I played at Miami, then with the Atlanta Crackers and later with Toronto before being traded to the San Francisco Giants organization, where I finished up a Tacoma, WA.

Throughout much of my career, I spent my winters playing in the Caribbean, where I was able to supplements my income. My highest salary during the major league career was $12,000, when I reached the Cardinals. I made $400 a month plus expenses playing for the Jackie Robinson All-Stars in 1953.

While I played baseball, my wife Helen lived in Moultrie and she taught school. After retiring from baseball in 1964, Helen and I make New Jersey our home. I attended RCA technical school and worked in the chemical industry. Helen died in 1990 and I continued to live in New Jersey. But during the winter months I enjoy fishing and playing golf with old friends in Moultrie.

In 2000 I was inducted in the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame.

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