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In doing research for the 1970 World Series, I learned that Emmett Ashford was the first black umpire ever to officiate a World Series Game (I've updated my post about Game One of the World Series to reflect this fact.) Not only that, Ashford was the first black umpire ever to be in Major League Baseball - working from 1966-1970. Feb 7, 2011 - "Ashford Broke Barriers behind a Mask" by Danny Wild on milb.com (note milb, not mlb) Incredibly, Chuck Meriwether became the second black umpire in the American League - in 1993. In 2008, the donrockwell.com community was three-years old, and Barack Obama won the Presidential election. That same year, a pair of black umpires would work a major-league game for the first time. When I was younger, I thought affirmative action was demeaning and unnecessary; I could not have been more wrong. How is Emmett Ashford *not* in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Oct 10, 2009 - "Chapman Students Want Black Ump in Hall of Fame" by Doug Irving on ocregister.com
Jeff Corey (1914-2002) is another fine character actor who merits his own thread (if I see about five different performances, I'm going to give any of these talented actors and actresses their own thread - they deserve it). For those of you who've heard the term, but have never really heard it defined, a "character actor" is someone whose face you've seen a million times, but can't come up with the person's name - there are a lot more of them, both in Hollywood and on television, than you think, and Jeff Corey was certainly one of them. This is but a small portion of what he has done - just what *I've* personally seen in the past couple of years, which should tell you he's done a *lot* more than this. Actively involved in television in the 1960s (Corey was blacklisted from Hollywood for refusing to name names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s), he played a major role as Byron Lomax in the somewhat Orwellian, 1963 episode of "The Outer Limits," - "O.B.I.T": It's fitting that Corey played in Hollywood during the seminal year of 1967, as Mr. Hickock (Dick Hickock's father), in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood": In 1969, Corey played High Advisor Plasus in an episode of "Star Trek" clearly influenced by Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" - "The Cloud Minders": Back in Hollywood, he plays a vital role in the 1969 film, "True Grit," as Tom Chaney, committing the murder near the very beginning which is the raison d'être of the entire film: From that same, fertile year for Corey, 1969, he played Sheriff Bledsoe in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid": The following year, 1970, he would play a well-received role as the logical Dr. Miles Talmadge on "Night Gallery's" "The Dead Man":
Most people of a certain age know that George Reeves played "Superman" in the original television series. Many people know that he died of suicide, by a suspicious gunshot. But who knew that he spoke the very first lines in "Gone with the Wind?!"