Wendell Smith - Pittsburgh Courier

Wendell Smith - Pittsburgh Courier Visual Arts American History African American History Social Studies Sports

Wendell Smith - a reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier at the time Jack Robinson was playing baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs (a "Negro-League" team) in 1945, the Montreal Royals (a farm-club team) in 1946, and the Brooklyn Dodgers (in 1947) - recommended Robinson to Branch Rickey.

Sports editor for the Courier, Smith moved on to work for the Chicago American (beginning in 1947).

In this 1958 photo, Smith (on the right) is receiving an award (from Dave Egan) for his reporting skills. 

When the Dodgers brought Robinson on board, Branch Rickey hired Wendell Smith to help Brooklyn's star rookie cope.  He tells us the story:

Mr. Rickey asked if I would live with Jackie, be his companion on the road. That's when he put me on the Brooklyn payroll, $50 a week, about the same amount I was getting as sports editor of the Courier.

He hired me as a scout, to scout Negro ballplayers. I had been a ballplayer, an all-city high school pitcher in Detroit; but I knew nothing of scouting. I was getting paid to help Jackie jump the hurdles.

Wendell Smith died, at the age of 58, in 1972.  He was a 1937 graduate of West Virginia State College. 

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
3 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Aug 21, 2018

Media Credits

Image of Wendell Smith online, courtesy Baseball Fever.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Wendell Smith - Pittsburgh Courier" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 21, 2018.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips