Former Negro League Exec Dies at 92
The Associated Press
02/06/04 18:12 EST
GLENWOOD, Md. (AP) - Richard Dennis Powell, general manager of a Negro League team in Baltimore, has died. He was 92.
Powell died of cancer Tuesday at his daughter's home, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Friday. He was the business and general manager of Baltimore's Elite Giants, who produced major league All-Stars Roy Campanella and Joe Black.
The Elite Giants - pronounced ``Ee-light'' with a Southern twang - were one of black baseball's most popular teams in the 1930s and 1940s.
``Incredibly over the years, he was the managerial force that kept the team in the league and doing well,'' James H. Bready, author of ``Baseball in Baltimore: The First 100 Years,'' told The Sun. ``He had an instinct for business as well as sports. He also had good people relationships that could hold a team together in those days.''
The Elite Giants won Negro National League championships in 1939 and '49. During the 1940s, their annual battles with the Homestead Grays were likened to the rivalry between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Powell was thought to be one of the last surviving executives of a Negro League team. He was said to be responsible for persuading owner ``Smiling'' Tom Wilson and business manager Vernon Green to move the Elite Giants from Washington to Baltimore in 1938.
Services will be held Monday at St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, in Baltimore. In addition to his daughter, Barbara ``Babs'' Golden, Powell is survived by five granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.