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Dallas Negro Leagues pitcher Blair dies

William Blair Jr., a former Negro Leagues pitcher who founded a popular Dallas African-American weekly newspaper called the Elite News, died Sunday according to his son.

Blair was 92.

“He was constantly coming up with ways to celebrate people and their hopes and dreams,” William Blair’s son, Darryl Blair, was quoted as telling The Dallas Morning News.

William Blair was a pitcher from 1946 to 1951 for the Indianapolis Clowns and other Negro Leagues teams and was inducted into the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Blair played football at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas and attended Prairie View A&M before enlisting in the Army to fight in World War II.

According to the Morning News, Blair founded the Southwest Sports News in 1947, which published scores from black college games throughout the U.S.

By 1951, the newspaper was renamed Highlight News and in 1960 became Elite News. The publication was distributed to African-American churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Blair also founded the Elite News Religious Hall of Fame.