Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eye Black Challenger: Cam Perron


In honor of the world series, we'd like to introduce you to Cam Perron, a teenager who is not only a great historian of the game, but also has helped numerous Negro League players get the recognition and pensions that they deserve.

Like many teenagers, Cam Perron spends most of his free time on the phone. But instead of texting or playing video games, he’s talking to old guys like Paul Jones and Gilbert Black.
They are former Negro league baseball players, old enough to be his grandfather, and he may be their greatest fan, their unlikely but irrepressible advocate.
Perron, a shaggy-haired 16-year-old with a shortstop’s lanky build, is one of the country’s most prolific researchers into the leagues that gave black ballplayers a professional option when they were banned from the bigs. From his bedroom in Arlington, Perron has created baseball cards for players who never had any, discovered evidence to help former players earn pensions, and reconnected teammates who hadn’t spoken in decades. This month he will help organize a reunion in Birmingham, Ala., for more than 50 former players.