Former Negro League baseball player to visit Starkville Wednesday

May 26, 2009

Tim Pratt -


STARKVILLE -- A former Negro League baseball player will be in Starkville Wednesday to visit the James "Cool Papa" Bell exhibit at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. 


Bob Buchanan, 92, of Pontotoc, will be at the museum around 11 a.m. with his daughter, Shirley, to see the recently completed display. He will stick around afterward to answer questions from the public, museum volunteer Bill Poe said. 


"What I envision is kind of sitting around the table and letting people ask him questions," Poe said. "I''d like for him to talk a bit about the Negro baseball league, but I''ve never met him before and I''m not sure exactly what''s going to happen." 


Buchanan played in the Negro leagues in the 1940s, during the same time as Cool Papa Bell. He was a relief pitcher for the Grand Rapids Black Sox and has vivid memories of Bell, as well as former players Buck O''Neil and Satchel Paige, Poe said. 


Buchanan''s daughter has written a book about her father''s life, where she explains how his pitching accuracy came from throwing rocks at rabbits while hunting as a child. 


The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum is located at the corner of Russell and Fellowship streets in Starkville.