Cam Perron always loved history, and from an early age, he had a knack for collecting. But when he was twelve and bought a set of Topps baseball cards featuring several players from the Negro Leagues, something clicked. Cam started writing letters to former Negro League players in 2007, asking for their autographs and a few words about their careers. He got back much more than he expected. The players responded with detailed stories about their glory days on the field, and the racism they faced. In these conversations, many of the players revealed that their careers had been unrecognized over time, and they'd fallen out of touch with their former teammates. So Cam, along with a small group of fellow researchers, organized the first annual Negro League Players Reunion in Birmingham, Alabama in 2010. At the celebratory, week-long event, fifteen-year-old Cam and the players--who were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s--finally met in person. They quickly became family.
In this enthralling debut, Perron, along with journalist Chiles, discusses several outstanding Negro League ballplayers and how the league came to be ... The players’ stories shine throughout, and even readers who aren’t familiar with the league will enjoy hearing stories of Cool Papa Bell, Randolph Bowe, and Joe Elliot, among others, and how they fought for recognition ... Baseball fans will thoroughly enjoy this captivating look into a side of the sport they might not know about. This heartfelt book, with a foreword by Hank Aaron, is a must-read, and Perron’s personable writing succeeds in giving often overlooked players a voice.
In the mid- to late-1940s, when some of the best Black players left for the majors, their fans went with them, causing attendance at Negro League games to shrivel. Players who didn’t get tapped for the majors saw their careers sidelined. It was those former Negro League players who deeply fascinated a young Cam Perron after he first learned about them through baseball cards. In his book, Comeback Season: My Unlikely Story of Friendship With the Greatest Living Negro League Baseball Players, the Tulane graduate chronicles his transition from a precocious young baseball fan to a friend and advocate of scores of former professional Negro League players ... In this book, Perron, who is white, demonstrates a passion for this history and a respect for the players ... A few of them have space in the book to tell their own stories, which makes for meaningful reading. A simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming tale, Comeback Season gives the spotlight to these talented players whose contributions have long gone unsung.
Perron debuts with an inspiring account of how he came to help preserve the legacy of Negro League veterans ... Perron’s ability to channel his childhood interests into something meaningful for others is moving, and his extraordinary account uplifts. Even those who aren’t sports fans will root for this galvanizing story.