Dodgers to honor only surviving umpire from baseball's Negro League

EMBED </>More Videos

The only surviving umpire from baseball's old Negro League will receive a special honor from the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. (KABC)

The only surviving umpire from baseball's old Negro League will receive a special honor from the Los Angeles Dodgers this week.

The Dodgers will honor Bob Motley, 94, before their home game Friday night.

Motley umpired Negro League games for 13 seasons. There was a stint as one of the first African-American Marines during World War II.

When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, Motley was hoping he'd soon follow.

"I figured I'd be next going up. I wished I was next going up," Motley recalled.

Motley went to the umpire school that was integrated at the time.

He said he graduated at the top of his class and made a strong effort to make it to Major League Baseball.

"Do I think I was good enough? I thought I was good enough from day one, when I finished umpire school," he said.

The Florida umpire school that Motley attended produced many big league umpires during his era. He made it as high as Triple-A -- one step below Major League Baseball. After that, he umpired locally near his Kansas City, Missouri home before retiring in the 70s.

He said when he was umpiring in the Negro Leagues, very rarely did players argue his calls.

"There was no argument going on," he recalled. "They knew we was there to umpire the baseball game, and if you act up -- see you later."

Related Topics:
sportsbaseballMLBLos Angeles DodgersLos Angeles
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments