Joe Black, baseball pioneer and retired Greyhound Corp. executive, dies – Census

Joe Black, baseball pioneer and retired Greyhound Corp. executive, dies – Census – Obituary

Joe Black, the first Black pitcher to win a World Series game, recently died of cancer in Phoenix. He was 78. Black, who was in failing health for months, died at the Life Care Center of Scottsdale in Phoenix.

Black spent a season in the minors before the Brooklyn Dodgers promoted him to the major leagues in 1952, five years after teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

Dominant out of the bullpen, he was chosen Rookie of the Year after winning 15 games and saving 15 others for the National League champion.

Strapped for pitching, Dodgers manager Chuck Dressen brought Black out of the bullpen and started him three times in seven days in the 1952 World Series against the New York Yankees. He won the opener game with a six-hitter over Allie Reynolds, 4-2.

Black was 28 when he reached the majors after helping the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues win two championships in seven years.

He roomed with Robinson while with Brooklyn, and pushed for a pension plan for Negro League players.

After his baseball career ended, Black became an executive with Greyhound Corporation.

He began as a marketing representative for Greyhound Lines in 1962 and was appointed vice president of special markets in 1967–making him the first Black vice president of a major transportation company. In 1969, he was elected to fill that same position for the parent company, Greyhound Corporation, becoming one of the first Black officers of a major U.S. company. As vice president, he implemented many programs geared toward the Black consumer market.

He also remained in touch with baseball as a consultant for the commissioner’s office and offered guidance to young players.

A native of Plainfield, NJ, Black graduated from Morgan State in Baltimore. He also wrote a syndicated column “By The Way” for EBONY magazine and other media outlets, as well as an autobiography, Ain’t Nobody Better Than You.

Black asked to be cremated, his daughter Martha Jo Black of Chicago, told JET. His ashes will be scattered where he learned to play baseball in Plainfield, she said.

Ms. Black says of her devoted father and baseball legend: “He taught my brother and I everything about life. He had the best sense of humor and always lectured me and my brother to always `save your money.'”

In addition to his daughter, Black is survived by a son, Joseph Frank Black of Phoenix.

Memorial services were planned in New Jersey at JET press time.

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COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group