Ted Rasberry

From BR Bullpen

Ted Rasberry

Biographical Information[edit]

Businessman and entrepreneur Ted Rasberry was born and grew up in West Point, MS. A local athlete, he played football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated with a teaching degree from Mississippi Industrial College, and returned to his home town to teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grades for a number of years at the rural Hopewell-Cedar Bluff school. He moved to Grand Rapids, MI about 1935, and joined Elster's Colored Athletics, a prominent local African-American baseball team. He also helped form the Grand Rapids Black Sox in 1947, a semi-pro team. He attempted to gain entry for his team into the Negro American League, but was rejected due to the small population.

In 1954, he made an application to join the NAL with a franchise based in Indianapolis, but located it in Detroit and christened it the Detroit Stars. In early 1956, he bought the rights to the Kansas City Monarchs from Tom Baird and moved its operations to Grand Rapids, while retaining the name. Both teams barnstormed for the remainder of the NAL's existence. He apparently sold or disbanded the teams around that time, and promoted the Harlem Satellites, a barnstorming African-American basketball team similar to the Harlem Globetrotters.

In later life, Rasberry was a respected member of the community of Grand Rapids, being active in local anti-poverty programs. A high school baseball park at 101 Sheldon Avenue in Grand Rapids, was renamed "Ted Rasberry Field" and dedicated in 2000. Rasberry suffered a heart attack in February 2001 and died in a hospice about a month later.

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