Saturday, April 23, 2011

Local Negro Leaguer, Stanley ‘Doc’ Glenn, dies

Stanley Glenn
Stanley Glenn
Philadelphia has lost a baseball legend. Stanley Glenn, who played for the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro League, passed away on Saturday, April 16. Ironically, Glenn died one day after Major League Baseball recently celebrated “Jackie Robinson Day.” Robinson broke the color line in baseball on April 15, 1947. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League before signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Glenn, a Yeadon resident, played against Jackie Robinson during his baseball career. He played for the Stars from 1944-1950. The man they call “Doc” was a terrific catcher. Prior to his passing, there were four surviving members of the Stars. Now, they’re only three: Mahlon Duckett, Bill Cash and Harold Gould.
Services for Glenn will be held on Monday, April 25 at Camphor United Methodist Church, 5620 Wyalusing Avenue. The viewing will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The funeral service will immediately follow the viewing.
Glenn was a tremendous high school ballplayer who could hit, throw the ball and call a good game behind the plate. He played baseball at Bartram High School in the Public League during the 1940s.
Carson “Cal” Puriefoy, Glenn’s nephew, followed his baseball career since he was a youngster. Puriefoy, director of public relations for the Philadelphia Stars, also worked closely with the Negro League Baseball Players Association. He will certainly miss Glenn’s warm personality and being around him for so many years.
“My uncle and grandfather (Charles Glenn) used to take me up to Elmwood (Avenue in Southwest Philly) to watch him play during the summer,” Puriefoy said. “I would spend my days watching Uncle Stanley play baseball. Patti LaBelle (R&B singer) didn’t live far from Elmwood.
“They called him “Doc,” but Uncle Stanley had another nickname. They called him “Slamming Stanley.” He was a great hitter at Bartram. He could hit the ball out to Elmwood Avenue. They won two city championships at Bartram. He played with Chip Wilkes who was a great player.
“He graduated from high school when he was 16 years old. Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston signed him when he joined the Stars. They played at 44th and Parkside (Avenue). But I watched Uncle Stanley play in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Newark, (N.J.) and New York.
“I saw him play against Larry Doby when he played for the Newark Eagles before he went up to the Cleveland Indians. He played against Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson. I remember watching him play at Shibe Park. Negro League teams could play in major league ballparks on Mondays. That was one day when they didn’t play their games.
“Uncle Stanley was a great speaker. I worked with him on getting him speaking engagements. He spoke at Northeastern University in Boston and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. He was my hero. He was a great man. I’m really going to miss him.”
Puriefoy worked tirelessly to support Glenn’s efforts. He did an outstanding job of promoting his book titled “Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Joy Away.” He wrote the book in 2006. He was 80 years old at the time.
“Negro League baseball is history, and a part of American history,” Puriefoy said. “He used to talk about that.”
Glenn was absolutely right. It’s also a sad part of history. Glenn was talented enough to play in the majors. The New York Yankees scouted him during his scholastic days. It’s just that baseball wasn’t taking Black players during those days.
Negro League players suffered a terrible injustice during those years. If you ever get a chance to interview or talk to any of players, there’s not a trace of bitterness in their voice even though they had every right to be bitter and upset being denied the opportunity to play in the big leagues.
Glenn never exhibited any harsh feelings towards major league baseball. He worked extremely hard to make life better for his peers. He was the president of the Negro League Baseball Players Association. In 2007, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association recognized Glenn, Duckett, Cash and Gould at its sports banquet. In 2003, the Stars were honored with a Negro Leagues Memorial Statue. Glenn was around for all those great moments.
“He really appreciated all those things,” Puriefoy said.

Contact Tribune staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or

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