July 23, 2008

Jocko Maxwell - The First Black Sportscaster Dies

Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell – whom many called “the first black sports broadcaster”, died at age 100 in West Chester, PA. He made his career in the New York/New Jersey area while he was working for the Post Office in Newark, and he convinced people like WNJ station owner Herman Lubinsky to let him talk about sports, starting in 1929. His later show on WRNY (says the New York Times) was called “Runs, Hits and Errors” – and he gets credit for helping to preserve boxscores and other details of the onetime Negro leagues, and especially the Newark Eagles. Maxwell was on the air somewhere in the New York metro until 1967. He also wrote up the games of the Eagles and other African American teams and sold them to newspapers. Maxwell contributed to the authoritative Baseball Digest and helped chronicle what the Times calls “the other teams” who played in major league ballparks – the black teams. They’re talking about Jocko here. From T-R-I -7/21/08

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