The Slice: Didn’t realize at the time that it was a decent catch

March 27, 2018 GMT

The major league season is about to begin.

So let’s start with a baseball memory.

I’ll share one of mine. You can share one of yours.

My older brother and I were at a Reds vs. Giants game at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field back around 1966 or 1967. My mother had taken us so I could see Willie Mays play.

We had brought a pristine baseball, on which we were collecting autographs. The game hadn’t started yet, so we could roam the stands freely.

We got all excited when we saw a distinguished looking black man in a dark suit making his way through the box seats area. He was clearly past his playing days. But my brother thought it might be Jackie Robinson.

He secured an autograph.

“Joe Black.”

Oh. We were disappointed at the time. I hope we didn’t show it. But we would subsequently discover that Joe Black was a fairly estimable baseball figure,

The first African-American pitcher to win a World Series game (1952), he appears prominently in Roger Kahn’s classic book “The Boys of Summer,” about the Brooklyn Dodgers.

What started out as a moment of confusion for a couple of dumb white kids eventually turned into a “Hey, I met him!” point of pride.

Joe Black died in 2002. He is not forgotten.

Here’s how to spot an April Fool’s prank this weekend: Be skeptical if …

You encounter someone who claims to have dated the S-R’s Dorothy Dean.

Someone tries to sell you a subscription to the Spokane Chronicle.

You are told that the Review Tower was used as a missile silo in the early 1960s.

Someone asks if you want to go watch the horse races at Playfair.

Just wondering: How many Spokane area residents lived in Alaska at the time of the Good Friday earthquake on this date in 1964?

Warm-up question: How many people in the Spokane area start each day by asking Alexa or Echo to play the Artie Shaw version of “Begin the Beguine”?

Today’s Slice questions: Has it become your expectation that when visiting someone’s home you will be required to remove your shoes? Is this more prevalent/less prevalent here than in other cities you have visited?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. “Things haven’t been the same around here since all the rest of those pesky Californians followed us up here,” wrote Norm Jewett.