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Negro League Baseball's Dennis 'Bose' Biddle to speak Feb. 8

February 3, 2012
BiddleEAU CLAIRE — As part of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's celebration of Black History Month, Dennis "Bose" Biddle, a former player for baseball's Negro League during the 1950s, will present "Experiences in Negro League Baseball" at noon Feb. 8 in Davies Theatre of Davies Center.

Biddle, who played with the Chicago American Giants from 1953-54, was known as "the man who beat the man who beat the man" because Gerald (Lefty) McKinnis, one of the few pitchers to beat Satchel Paige, was outpitched by the 17-year-old Biddle.

The youngest surviving member of Negro League Baseball, Biddle was a pitcher for the Chicago American Giants in 1953-54. The following year, he signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs of the National Baseball League. Biddle's career in baseball ended when he shattered an ankle during his first day at the Cubs' spring training in 1955.

After Biddle stopped playing baseball, he returned to school, enrolling at UW-Milwaukee. He became a social worker and worked for the state of Wisconsin for 24 years.

When Biddle retired, he founded the Yesterday's Negro League Baseball Players Foundation. The foundation provides medical and other types of assistance to former NLB players and educates people about the hardships that early African-American baseball players faced.

Biddle is featured in the book "Voices from the Negro Leagues" by Brent Kelly and has authored "Secrets of the Negro Leagues."

Biddle's UW-Eau Claire presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, UW-Eau Claire Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Fellow, at 715-828-2019 or duckswsm@uwec.edu, or the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 715-836-3367.

Biddle's lecture will be followed in May by the UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library display of the traveling exhibit "Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience." There will be a series of public events in May including appearances by three former Negro League players and a founder and past director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.

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JP/AH

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