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Othello "Chico" Renfroe collection

 Collection
Identifier: aarl90-002

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of papers of Othello "Chico" Renfroe from ca. 1938-1991. The papers include scrapbooks, photo albums, baseball game books, and audiotapes documenting the Negro baseball leagues, the integration of African Americans in the white leagues, African American athletes, and the civil rights movement, as well as Renfroe's activities as a sports broadcaster. The scrapbooks contain clippings, photographs, correspondence, programs, and baseball cards. The clippings include articles written by Renfroe for the Atlanta Daily World. The audiotapes consist of broadcasts made by Renfroe for basketball and football games at high schools in the Atlanta/Macon (Ga.) area and of college basketball and football games for schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A few of the tapes are of radio talk shows featuring Renfroe discussing sports.

Dates

  • [ca. 1938-1991]

Creator

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Othello "Chico" Renfroe was a scrappy, versatile baseball player. In 1946 he represented the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1946 East-West All-Star game. He had the highest batting average in the World Series against the Newark Eagles, hitting .414 while playing at shortstop in all 7 games. After the Series he was a member of Satchel Paige's All-Star team that barnstormed across the country with Bob Feller's All-Star. He had only average defensive skills and speed, but he was a good base stealer and was adequate afield at several positions. He hit for averages of .232, .245, .296, and .231 for the years 1945-'49 (exclusive of 1947).

Mr. Chico Renfroe's passion for baseball developed from his days as a youngster in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1938 he ran away from home, hanging around the spring training camps of black teams and running errands and became a 'bat boy' for the Chicago American Giants. While attending Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Mr. Renfroe participated in baseball, basketball, and football. He moved to Atlanta during his junior year in high school and enrolled at Clark College after graduation. While continuing his education he also played semipro ball until signing with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945.

During the 1949 season Mr. Renfroe moved to the Indianapolis Clowns until heeding a call from "south of the border" to play with Torreon in the Mexican League in 1950. Before ending his professional career with Minot, North Dakota in 1954, he played several winter seasons in various locales. He was a member of Chet Brewer's Kansas City Royals in the California winter league in 1945 and 1947, and toured Venezuela in 1950, with the New York Stars, and in the Dominican Republic from 1951-1952.

After retiring from baseball in 1954, Mr. Renfroe returned to Atlanta and worked for the U.S. Post Office. He began a career in sports journalism as sports director of radio station WERD in 1963. In 1964, Mr. Renfroe became the sports voice of Atlanta high school and the Atlanta University Center sports on WIGO'S high school and college football "Games of the Week."

In 1970, Mr. Renfroe was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press. In 1972, Mr. Renfroe was hired as sports columnist by the Atlanta Daily World. After seven years he was elevated to sports editor, during which time he wrote the columns, "Sports of the World" and "Going Down Memory Lane."

From 1975 until 1980, he served as the radio voice of the Florida A&M Rattlers football network. Though Mr. Renfroe stopped announcing high school games in 1990, he expanded his college sports broadcasts to include Atlanta University Center basketball. Mr. Renfroe made history when he was hired by the Atlanta Braves, as the first African American official scorer in major league baseball. He also enjoyed a career as a public address announcer for the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Renfroe died of a heart attack September 3, 1991, in Atlanta Georgia. He was 68 years old.

Extent

40.0 v.

171 audiotapes (cassette)

Overview

The collection consists of papers of Othello "Chico" Renfroe from ca. 1938-1991. The papers include scrapbooks, photo albums, baseball game books, and audiotapes documenting the Negro baseball leagues, the integration of African Americans in the white leagues, African American athletes, and the civil rights movement, as well as Renfroe's activities as a sports broadcaster. The scrapbooks contain clippings, photographs, correspondence, programs, and baseball cards. The clippings include articles written by Renfroe for the Atlanta Daily World. The audiotapes consist of broadcasts made by Renfroe for basketball and football games at high schools in the Atlanta/Macon (Ga.) area and of college basketball and football games for schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A few of the tapes are of radio talk shows featuring Renfroe discussing sports.

Series

  1. I. Scrapbooks/Albums, 1932-1991
  2. Audio Cassette Tapes, 1977-1990
Title
Inventory of the Othello "Chico" Renfroe, Sr. Collection aarl90-002 aarl90-002
Author
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
Date
2004 September 15

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

Contact:
101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303
404-613-4032