Harold Price, of Egg Harbor Township, played in baseball’s minor leagues from 1944-48, before a salary dispute ended his career, he said.
“I was banned forever because of a salary negotiation with Branch Rickey,” he said of the man who built the feeder system for major-league teams and signed Jackie Robinson to the Montreal Royals in 1945. Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues in 1947.
Price asked for $350 a month for the 1949 season, as he and wife, Gloria, were about to have their first child and were building a house. The last offer was $225.
In spite of the dispute, Price, 87, admires Rickey for helping integrate baseball. Excellent local players such as Pleasantville’s Maxwell Manning never got the opportunities they deserved, he said. Manning pitched in the Negro Leagues from 1938 to 1949, except when in military service. He was a teacher in Pleasantville for 28 years, and died in 2003.
Price grew up in Pleasantville and was a standout catcher at Pleasantville High School. He got a draft deferment because his three older brothers were already serving.
After graduation, he was one of three white players on the Hap Farley Stars in the Amateur Negro League, and played for the Pleasantville Regulars, where a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals noticed him. At 19, he signed with the Lima (Ohio) Redbirds at $100 a month, he said.
After baseball, Price worked as a tile setter and had children, Dawn Brown, Diana Beatty, and Harold Price Jr., all of Egg Harbor Township. Brown has written a comics-style book about her dad’s career, “Minor Chances: A Catcher on the Farm.”
Scary but educational
Long Beach Township Patrolman Butch Hartman and Stafford Township’s Patrolman Chris Fritz set up a go-cart course for students at Southern Regional High School in Stafford Township. Students drive through wearing “fatal vision” goggles that simulate the effects of being intoxicated; and drive through while texting.
The students called the experience scary, the school said.
Annette Scully, of Wildwood Crest, has been appointed manager of Cape Regional Medical Center Auxiliary’s two EtCetera Thrift Shops in North Cape May and Cape May Court House. She previously managed several retail stores, according to the auxiliary.
Annette, who is married to local contractor Chris Scully, has three children and five grandchildren.
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