The family of Negro League great Cool Papa Bell (above) is up in arms, and I’m tempted to ring David Roth to see if he’s responsible. From the New York Sun’s David Goldstein. (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Bell’s daughter, Connie Brooks, has filed suit against a baseball card company, Topps, over the description of Bell that the company provides on the back of a 2001 special edition card. The short biography concludes by saying that Cool Papa “earned his nickname after falling asleep right before a game.”
To many eyes the statement seems innocuous enough. But Ms. Brooks calls it, in court papers, a “bogus painful lie,” and said it belittles the difficult lives of the players of the Negro League.
Topps’s story, Ms. Brooks claims, insinuates that her father was an alcoholic or drug addict and unable to keep his eyes open.
“In his life he did not smoke or drink,” Ms. Brooks, of Manhattan, told The New York Sun. “But they take a Negro Leaguer and think it’s okay to make him a little buffoonish, a little clownish, and suggest that he’s nodding off. That’s an insult to a man’s legacy.”