A TRIP BACK IN TIME
Ron Teasley, one of the oldest living Negro Leaguers, remembers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and a lifetime in the game
By Jerry Crasnick
Ron Teasley received the nickname “Schoolboy’’ for his talent and precociousness while growing up in Detroit in the 1930s and ‘40s. As an adolescent, he competed against grown men on the baseball field. And when he wasn’t playing ball, he was immersed in a book or busy in the classroom.
Teasley’s life has been full and rich by any measure. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1948 and spent two years playing independent ball in Canada before returning to his native Michigan to embark upon a long career as an educator and coach. He’s a member of the Northwestern (Detroit) High School, Wayne State University and Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame.
At age 96, Teasley is the second oldest living Negro Leaguer and one of only four players remaining from the 1920-1948 era. The others: Bill Greason (98), Clyde Golden (94) and a gentleman named Willie Mays, who turns 92 in May.
Teasley’s wife, Marie, an award-winning journalist, died in 2020 after 71 years of marriage. “She was a beautiful person with a beautiful spirit,’’ he says. “I miss her so much.’’ But his legacy lives on through his three children, Ron Jr., Tim and Lydia, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He still drops in at high school games in the Detroit area and keeps a close watch on the next generation of ballplayers. “He loves the Little League World Series,’’ says Ron Jr.
In conjunction with Black History Month, Teasley recently shared some of his favorite baseball memories with the MLBPA. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.