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Under One Roof
"A must-read." - Mike Vacarro, New York Post Jackie Robinson may have smashed Major League Baseball's color ceiling in 1947, but segregation in the sport had not been entirely eliminated. The pre-season ritual of spring training in Florida remained racially restrictive. Black players could not room, eat, or socialize with their white teammates. The only time teams were fully together? On the diamond.
By 1961, pressure mounted for complete integration. Despite demands from the influential black newspaper columnist Wendell Smith, it appeared another year would pass dictated by Jim Crow policies. Then, two weeks before players reported to spring training, Dr. Ralph Wimbish announced that it was time for a change. The feisty, forty-year-old black physician from St. Petersburg was known locally for his central role in the integration of the city's schools, beaches, and lunch counters. Major League Baseball, however, wasn't exactly a five and dime operation; it was the economic lifeblood of St. Pete and for most of the other host cities in Florida.
Drawing on personal interviews, newspaper accounts, archival documents, and memoirs, Adam Henig painstakingly etches a portrait of the troubled era and weaves into it an unforgettable tale of a little-known civil rights activist who risked it all to achieve racial justice.
Praise for Under One Roof
"There should be a life-size statue of Dr. Ralph Wimbish on the streets of St. Petersburg. Dr. Wimbish was to this city what Dr. Martin Luther King was to the country. Adam Henig's terrific new book, Under One Roof, beautifully tells the whole inspirational story." - Peter Golenbock, author of The Bronx Zoo: The Astonishing Inside Story of the 1978 World Champion New York Yankees and Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers
"This book will need to be on every baseball historian's shelf, but also every civil rights historian's shelf and is a must-read for those who cherish Florida history." - Jon Wilson, Tampa Bay Times and author of The Golden Era in St. Petersburg: Postwar Prosperity in The Sunshine City
"Adam Henig's painstaking research shines a light on a special man, Dr. Ralph Wimbish, whose courage and resolve eased some of the pain brought by racial segregation. Under One Roof is a baseball book-and much more." - Bill Stevens, Tampa Bay Times