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The greatness of Oscar Charleston

Negro Leagues star was Mays before Mays, a combination of Ruth, Cobb, Speaker

Updated: February 25, 2010, 1:02 PM ET
By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com

When I was a kid, I devoured baseball books like most kids consumed Twinkies or "Brady Bunch" reruns. I can still remember the time my grandmother gave me my first two hardcover books. One was "Great Infielders of the Major Leagues," which included profiles of luminaries like Glenn Beckert, Clete Boyer and Ken Hubbs; the other was a biography of Willie Mays.

I loved that Willie Mays book, probably read it three or four times even though it was published in 1966 and didn't include ...

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