The Assassinated Press
Yeah. That's Right. Call 'Em The Grays.;
Or What's Really In A Name:
Baseball Returns To DC
An Assassinated Press Editorial
Baseball's back in Washington DC and there is talk of naming the team the Grays after the great Negro league franchise that called the Nation's Capital home during the forties and early fifties.
I'm all for the push to call Washington's new franchise the Grays. I say remind every baseball fan in the country why ALL baseball records are worthless because of baseballs decades long apartheid. While prissy, white sports writers spend their days tearing down the great Barry Bonds, let's have a franchise name that reminds them that their forebears displayed the same kind of racism toward Josh Gibson, maddened by his exclusion from the white major leagues.
Don't call 'em the Senators. Don't remind long time Washingtonians of bigot Calvin Griffith's lovable white mediocrities. Griffith's only concession to talent was an occasional Latin player like Camilo Pascual or second tier star like Roy Sievers until Harmon Killebrew came up through the farm system and was soon wisked away to Minnesota. Griffith would grouse about not selling tickets when his battery consisted of earnest, white journeymen like Chuck Stobbs and Clint Courtney 8 or 9 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line.
No, don't remind us of that skinflint Griffith. My best friend's father took tickets at Griffith Stadium. But he rarely let us sneak by the turnstiles when, say, the Yankees were in town because he was afraid Griffith might somehow find out. So I saw a lot of the '56 Kansas City Athletics. So much so that in Midget League, I unconsciously began to assume Hector Lopez's stance when I climbed into the batter's box.
And hell yeah. Let's put the damn stadium in Anacostia so when whitey on Capitol Hill trundles over to his box seat, he can be reassured that the same apartheid that excluded Gibson and a thousand other talented black ballplayers is still intact and thriving.
Call 'em the Grays and remind the country every day of its sad, brutal colonial past as it goes about its sad, brutal colonialist present in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti et al.
Call 'em the Grays so every white plutocrat can be reminded of a better day, when apartheid and control was not such a subtle economic affair and the rich could go about their business unfettered by concepts of morality and justice.
Call 'em the Grays. Nothing has changed.