Written by Bill Cash and Al Hunter
Bill "Ready" Cash, a powerhouse catcher for the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro Leagues from 1943 to 1950, had a nasty arm, a potent bat, and a knowledge of the game that would embarrass some of today's major leaguers. That knowledge, along with insights and vignettes rarely, if ever, revealed, spills out of his colorful autobiography, Thou Shalt Not Steal: The Baseball Life and Times of a Rifle-Armed Negro League Catcher, co-authored with award-winning journalist Al Hunter Jr. Thou Shalt Not Steal percolates with the thrills, challenges, heartbreaks, successes, and racism Cash endured in his baseball career -- including stints in Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and Venezuela - and as a black man living in America. And he recalls in painful detail the controversial play at home plate in 1946 involving him, the Newark Eagles' Larry Doby, and a white umpire that nearly started a riot in Ruppert Stadium and probably kept Cash from making it to the majors. "Shoot, as bad as (the umpire's) call was," Cash writes, "I should've stomped him." Funny, charming, poignant, and significantly honest, Thou Shalt Not Steal is as much a history of the game as it is a record of the plight of African Americans in the 20th century. Where some books about the Negro Leagues take a wide-angle view of the league's history and focus on its superstars,Thou Shalt Not Steal focuses on the experiences of one man - Bill Cash - so the reader develops a deep appreciation not only for Cash, but for the lives of other players, who, like him, were the backbone of the league. Whether it evokes pride or outrage, empathy or profound respect, Thou Shalt Not Stealwill fascinate all who open its pages.
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