Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

You can sponsor this page for as little as $5
click here for details


Bill Blair


Baseball Experience: Negro League
First Sergeant
Military Unit:
US Army

Area Served: United States

William “Bill” Blair was born on October 17, 1921 in Dallas, Texas. Blair graduated Booker T Washington High School in Dallas and briefly attended Prairie View A&M University. He began his baseball career at the age of 16, playing for a barnstorming team in Mineola, Texas.

Blair served with the Army during WWII and became the youngest African-American to serve as a first sergeant. After his discharge in 1946 he joined the Cincinnati Clowns of the Negro League and later played for the Cincinnati Crescents.

He retired from baseball after 1951 to work full-time as the founder and owner of Southwest Sports News, a newspaper that specialized in publishing scores from African-American college games throughout the U.S. It was renamed Elite News in 1960 and is still being published today.

He was “drafted” by the Houston Astros in the Negro Leagues Player Draft, held prior to the Major League draft at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on June 5, 2008. Each Major League club drafted a surviving former Negro Leagues player, who represented every player who did not have the opportunity to play baseball in the major leagues.

Created June 17, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.