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Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Sidearmer had majors tryout rescinded in '37
Associated Press


PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. -- Former Negro Leagues pitcher Max Manning, who was once offered a major league tryout only to have it rescinded because of his race, died at 84.

He died Monday at Linwood Convalescent Center after a long illness.

A 6-foot-4-inch right-hander with a sidearm delivery, Manning was a high school standout went on to play for the Johnson Stars in nearby Atlantic City.

In 1937, he was contacted by the Detroit Tigers about a tryout, but the offer was withdrawn when the team found out he was black, according to "The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues.''

Manning, sometimes called "Dr. Cyclops'' because of the thick eyeglasses he wore, signed with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League in 1938. His 10-year career with the Eagles was interrupted by service in World War II.

In 1946, Manning pitched the final game in the Negro League World Series as Newark defeated the Kansas City Monarchs 3-2.

He also barnstormed with Satchel Paige's All-Stars in the late 1940s and played in leagues in Mexico and Canada before retiring from baseball. He then returned to school, graduated from Glassboro State College and spent 28 years as a sixth-grade teacher in Pleasantville.

"I want him remembered as someone who had strength of character, not only in baseball but also in what he taught in the classroom and what he brought to the community,'' said daughter Belinda Manning.

Manning is also survived by daughter Joan Young and son Max Manning Jr.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Tuesday.