“The man who has found nothing worth dieing for, is not fit to live.” Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968.

 Earl Lawrence Wilson, October 2, 1934-April 23, 2005

Martin Luther King was named pastor of the Dexter Street Baptist Church in 1954 and graduated from Boston University in 1955 with a doctorate degree in systematic theology.

Earl Wilson signed with the Boston Red Sox in a May of 1953, the first black man to sign as a player with the Boston Red Sox.

Martin Luther King met Coretta, a music student, while studying in Boston and in June of 1953 they married.

Earl Wilson was originally signed as a catcher and in 1953 he played with the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings in the Arizona/Texas League. He had trouble throwing the ball to second base from behind the plate because it tailed too much, so he was converted to a pitcher.

In 1955, Martin Luther King emerged as the national spokesman for a movement when a young black lady by the name of Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama. Under his leadership, spawned the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and ’56’, and the face of America was changed forever.

Earl Wilson, in 1955, played for the Montgomery Rebels in the South Atlantic (Sally) League. He pitched 127 innings, went 6-7 with a 4.75 ERA and he walked a lot of hitters.

Martin Luther King’s journey took him through, Birmingham and Selma, Albany and St. Augustine. It took him to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial from where his words echo through history and it took him to Memphis Tennessee where his eloquent voice was silenced. 

Earl Wilson’s journey took him through El Paso and San Jose, Montgomery and Albany NY, Minneapolis and then to Fenway Park where in 1959 he joined “Pumpsie Green” who had preceded him by a week and they integrated the Boston Red Sox!

Martin Luther King wove himself into the “mystic chords of memory” of our nation by summoning what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature.”

Earl Wilson wove himself into the fabric of Fenway Park history by providing a shining example of excellence both on and off the field. On the field he became the first black pitcher in the history of the American League to throw a no-hitter and he hit a home run in the game as well. Off the field he would never bend, never bow, never yield!

The voice of Dr King may have been silenced but his words are eternal. He once said, “all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”

I don’t know if Dr. King and Mr. Wilson ever met. But I do know that they each chose their path, and when the events of their lives swept them to places they never dreamed they would be, they answered, they stood up and they persevered; striving to be what they “ought to be.”

May this day bring each of us the pursuit of what we “ought to be.”

                              And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history,

                                            Martin Luther King Day 2012.


About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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2 Responses to “The man who has found nothing worth dieing for, is not fit to live.” Martin Luther King

  1. Earl Wilson started at our ballpark in Bisbee for the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings during the 1953 season. Warren Ballpark still exists and is used year-round for athletic events and community activities. It has been in use since 1909. Tris Speaker, who played center field for the Red Sox, appeared at Warren Ballpark in November 1913, playing for the Chicago White Sox on the 1913 NY Giants-White Sox World Tour. This upcoming year we will be honoring John McGraw, Charlie Comiskey and the players on the World Tour during our Fourth Annual Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament, April 6 and 7, 2013. For details visit the Friends of Warren Ballpark’s website or Facebook page.

    • Mike….Thanks so much for sharing and the best to you on this great event. Earl was one of my very first favorite players and I have spent some time researching his career. He was a very special guy!

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