The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Henry Presswood

Henry Presswood was born on October 7, 1921, in Electric Mills, Mississippi. From 1948-52 Presswood played shortstop and third baseman in the Negro Leagues. During his time in the Leagues, Presswood starred for both the Cleveland Buckeyes and the Kansas City Monarchs.

After leaving professional baseball, Presswood went to work at Inland Steel, where he played fast-pitch softball. He won several trophies and also a good sportsmanship award. Presswood retired from Inland Steel after more than thirty years of employment.

Presswood passed away on December 27, 2014 at the age of 93.

Henry Presswood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2003.

Accession Number

A2001.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/6/2003

Last Name

Presswood

Maker Category
Occupation
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Electric Mills

HM ID

PRE01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Charlotte, North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/7/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sweet Potato Pie, Candied Yams

Death Date

12/27/2014

Short Description

Baseball player Henry Presswood (1921 - 2014 ) was a shortstop and third baseman for the Negro Leagues.

Employment

Sumter Lumber Company

Cleveland Buckeyes

Kansas City Monarchs

Inland Steel Company

Favorite Color

Blue, Brown, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:1771,78:2079,83:3234,132:3850,150:4158,160:4697,173:8701,233:9086,239:9625,247:17556,385:31550,501:32190,510:35630,575:36270,584:45680,696:46220,703:46670,709:52520,824:82914,1227:83334,1240:87282,1368:101258,1505:102462,1520:103322,1533:104354,1547:105128,1561:114862,1735:118192,1836:123150,1918:137442,2131:137958,2138:143200,2186$0,0:40250,583:46023,667:57021,817:57519,824:78490,1137:123418,1612:134294,1866:139332,1953:169170,2396:169454,2401:239926,3017:268509,3350:270741,3449:284310,3764:307938,4063:323300,4248
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Henry Presswood's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Henry Presswood lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Henry Presswood talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Henry Presswood talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Henry Presswood talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Henry Presswood shares his earliest memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Henry Presswood talks about moving to Birmingham, Alabama after serving in the United States Army

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Henry Presswood reflects on his experiences in school

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Henry Presswood reminisces about his favorite teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Henry Presswood talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Henry Presswood talks about his introduction to baseball

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Henry Presswood reflects on things he enjoyed as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Henry Presswood describes his Christian upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Henry Presswood recounts his life in Mississippi after he left school

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Henry Presswood recalls his early experiences playing baseball

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Henry Presswood talks about his father's passing

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Henry Presswood describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Henry Presswood reminisces about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Henry Presswood shares memories of Jackie Robinson

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Henry Presswood shares his childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Henry Presswood shares his childhood memories, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Henry Presswood describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Henry Presswood describes his childhood community, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Henry Presswood describes his childhood community, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Henry Presswood talks about his service in the United States Army

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Henry Presswood talks about his early baseball career, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Henry Presswood talks about his early baseball career, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Henry Presswood recalls playing in the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Henry Presswood shares memories about playing in the Negro League with the Kansas City Monarchs, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Henry Presswood reflects on the end of the Negro Baseball League, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Henry Presswood shares memories about playing in the Negro Baseball League with the Kansas City Monarchs

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Henry Presswood reminisces about playing with the Cleveland Buckeyes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Henry Presswood shares memories about the Satchel Paige

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Henry Presswood reflects on the end of the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Henry Presswood shares memories from playing in the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Henry Presswood shares his thoughts about changes in baseball players throughout the years

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Henry Presswood talks about the interest in the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Henry Presswood reminisces about other Negro Baseball League players

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Henry Presswood talks about his life after he retired from the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Henry Presswood shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Henry Presswood reflects on his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

11$10

DATitle
Henry Presswood talks about his introduction to baseball
Henry Presswood recalls playing in the Negro Baseball League
Transcript
And so you, you finished the tenth grade (simultaneous)--$$Right.$$--from the same school (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, sure.$$--and then what did you do? When did, when did you start, you know, you're known for baseball, so when did you start playing baseball?$$Well, it was a man--ok there in Electric Mill, Mississippi, where I was born at--they had a big sawmill there. And my dad, he worked the sawmill. And a fella by the name of Mr. Jimmy Faison [ph.], Jimmy Faison, played baseball with the--the baseball team there was named --the sawmill name was Electric Mills. The baseball team was name Mills City Jitterbugs. They had Mills City Jitterbugs across here. And so, Mr. Jimmy Faison, he played first base and that was my first--I wanted to play first base, but see, and then I learned to play shortstop. You know, that the way it was. But, however, Mr. Jimmy Faison was one of my mother's boarders. Well this big sawmill wasn't too far. And so, they had the--at 12:00 noon the whistle would blow, would blow, and then the workers would go to dinner, or lunch, whatever you might call it. However (laughter), and Mr. Jimmy Faison was one of the boarders that my mother would cook.... She had, she had bout six or seven, maybe eight or 10, you know, and they would come walking over there at 12:00 noon. And so, and when I'd be at home, Mr. Jimmy Faison would get a ball had a rubber ball, and he'd toss the ball and learn me how to catch that ball, learn me how to catch the ball.$$How old were you then, when you got interested in baseball, the earliest time?$$Oh, foot, (unclear) when I first started going to school and I use to see the big boys. I always wanted to play, you know.$$Did they let you play?$$Nah, not until (laughter) you know, they didn't want to fool around with me. They didn't have time for me at that time. But, however, I didn't stop. And when Mr. Jimmy Faison would get off work, he'd come to the house, he'd toss the ball to me.$$How old were you then?$$Oh, I was bout, I'd say bout 12, I think I was bout 12 years old. I believe it was, something like that, ten or 12 years. I can't recall exactly. But, you know, I can remember it good.$Not saying anything, you know, okay. We got us the equipment, went on in there, got dressed out, come on, come on out. Sitting down in the dugout on the other side, Satchel [Paige] was warming up. (Unclear) had a new mitt and Earl was letting--Satchel was a little bit distance from where the pitcher mound that catch it. He was back, standing back a little further. And, I teased the (unclear) and I said, "Why are you standing so far back (unclear)?" And he said, that said, say, "Satch arms so strong," say, "I can't get to the regular whatchcallit." Okay. I laughed like that. Anyway, when Satch got through warming up. He reached down and put his blue jacket on. He here come, walk--he come on our side and we in the dugout. He walked to this end, he turned around and he went back to this end. The second time he went down there, he reached in the back pocket, looking at us, going on down. He said, "Boys," say, "I got that ball today." (Laughter) So, I noticed Jeffrow and Al Smith and all of them wasn't saying nothing. He said, "Yeah, Hank, yeah you been hitting them line drives, running like a deer, and all like that"--say, "Not today." He said, "Not today. You won't touch me today." I said, "Well, I'll tell you what, Satch," I say, "I gonna go to that bat rack," I said, "I'm gonna get me a 34-inch bat," I say, "I gonna give you a whipping today you never had before." (Laughter). I was talking to him--I, I mean he was a top pitcher, no doubt about Satch. And so, anyway (laughter), he laughed. Okay, all right, he kept--when they, when they got the side out, well, the next inning, I was gonna get chance to bat, you know. And I--when--all when they called me on there, I went to the bat rack, and I got that 34-inch bat. I walked up, and big old Satch looked at me--laughed, you know. He say, "Not today." I say, "The only way I don't whip you today, I see you put that ball in your pocket and keep it in your pocket. But if you throw it to me," I say, "I'm going to whip it"--just like that. He said, "All right." Oh, when he got on that mound, he leaned down there and got his signal from the table, the table. He reared up, (makes sound) he threw one after me. I hit the dirt and I got right back up--hit them pants. You didn't dig in on Satch. It's all in that book, I'll let you all see. See, you didn't dig in on Satch. He wound up, next time. I say, "Now he bout gonna throw me a fast ball." I say, "I'm gonna be ready for that one." He leaned over there and he rocked, (makes sound). And all I could do was just du-, just finch, like that--"Strike one." And he say, "Yeah." I say, "I'm gonna whip you." I say. Now he reared up again, I say, "Now I don't know what he gonna do this time." I say, "But I'll get him." He threw me a curve ball. I hit a long foul, out of the ballpark. I was way out of there. Oh, I was ready now! I pulled my pants up. I could see myself now (laughter). How I did--(laughter) and so, I just wanna tell you what happened. But anyway, he reared up again--(makes sound). That's all I did, and I say, "Well." I say, "Now he, he gonna throw me a curve ball next." I say, "I gonna be sure enough ready for that one." He leaned over there and he rocked, and he had a hesitating pitch. The rule is, is, is a ball when they went to the major leagues. He reared up, and he stepped and he threw me a knuckle ball, that's what we call it, and that ball just floated. And I swung, and pulled a muscle in my side. I missed it. (Laughter). I was off three or four days before I could swing a bat anymore. And so--oh, he laughed, oh, he really laughed at me. So anyway, (laughter) he pitched three innings. The third inning he called his outfielders in. There was big Joe Green, there was big Tom Harris, there was "Chappy" [ph.], Othello Renfroe, but we called him Chappy. We say, "Satch wind up with a baseball and turned loose aspirin tablets," that's just the way we'd say. He was just that fast. He, he, he was, he was a great pitcher. And so, that was the end of me with Satch Page. And so (Laughter). Anyway, so, the time we went--when we went to Kansas City. I went when we went to play the Monarchs in Kansas City, Satch--

Ernie Banks

Baseball player Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas, on January 31, 1931. As legend has it, his father had to bribe young Ernie with nickels and dimes in order to get his son to play catch.

An all-around athlete, Banks was a high school star in football, basketball and track. At age seventeen, he signed to play baseball with a Negro barnstorming team. Manager Cool Papa Bell recognized Banks’ talent and signed him to a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Baseball League.

In 1953, Banks was recruited directly from the Negro League into the majors with the Chicago Cubs. He hit his first home run on September 20, 1953, beginning a long career as one of the Cubs’ most beloved players. From 1955 to 1960, Ernie Banks hit more homers than anyone in the majors, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, and he finished his career with five seasons of forty or more home runs. In 1959 he became the first player in National League history to win consecutive Most Valuable Player trophies, a year removed from setting an NL record for homers by a shortstop with forty-seven.

After retiring from the major leagues as a career Cub in 1971, Banks became the first Cub to have his uniform number retired. In 1977, Banks was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Cubs fans will always remember him as the ballplayer who said, "What a great day for baseball! Let's play two!" On March 31, 2008, Banks was honored with a permanent statue of his likeness at Wrigley Field.

Banks passed away on January 23, 2015 at age 83.

Accession Number

A2000.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/18/2000

Last Name

Banks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Ernie

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

BAN01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Hank Aaron

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Switzerland

Favorite Quote

One chance is all you need.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/31/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Okra

Death Date

1/23/2015

Short Description

Baseball player Ernie Banks (1931 - 2015 ) nicknamed “Mr. Cub,” played his entire nineteen year baseball career with the Chicago Cubs. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, Banks was the first Chicago Cub to have his number retired.

Employment

Chicago Cubs

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Pink

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Photo - Ernie Banks with former roommate Lou Brock and Buck O'Neil, manager of the Kansas City Monarchs.

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Photo - Ernie Banks's family

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Photo - Ernie Banks with his father on a radio program

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Photo - Ernie Banks with Willie Mays in San Francisco

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Photo - Ernie Banks sliding into third base with Jackie Robinson (back turned) in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Photo - Ernie Banks with Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and two producers in a movie called 'Finding Buck McHenry' in Toronto, Canada

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Photo - Ernie Banks with father at Wrigley Field

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Photo - Ernie invited to golf tournament for a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society with picturess of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks talks about growing up with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks describes his mother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks shares some stories about growing up in Dallas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about his busy childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he likes his name

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks talks about his work ethic

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks shares a story about being jilted at his prom

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks describes his personality as a young person

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks describes his parents' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ernie Banks talks about growing up in a segregated Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ernie Banks talks about his school days

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Ernie Banks talks about his average athletic talent in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Ernie Banks talks about enjoying softball more than baseball as a young person

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Ernie Banks describes how his father encouraged him to play baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Ernie Banks briefly describes his military experience and the start of his baseball career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks describes playing baseball in the Negro Baseball League

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about adjusting from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks discusses learning by experience in the Major Leagues

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about St. Louis as a special place in his baseball career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about his mindset while playing baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he deflected discussion away from his baseball accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks explains the origin of his nickname, "Mr. Cub"

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks describes his relationship with Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks briefly describes his dismissal from the Chicago Cubs

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks discusses his feelings about his Hall of Fame status

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks talks about running for alderman in the City of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks talks about being an example for social change

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks explains his positive attitude

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about public perception of his positive attitude

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks talks about being perceived as an "Uncle Tom"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains that his business connections are not personal connections

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks explains feeling content in the latter stages of his life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks discusses his future plans for philanthropy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks briefly discusses baseball as a business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ernie Banks talks about the difficulties faced by some of his favorite athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ernie Banks discusses negative societal influences on children

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ernie Banks discusses how the strenuous pace of society produces a negative effect

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ernie Banks briefly talks about being a positive influence on professional athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ernie Banks discusses his views on significant members of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ernie Banks talks about his perception of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ernie Banks offers advice for young black Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ernie Banks explains why he doesn't want to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ernie Banks discusses the importance of history

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ernie Banks talks about his contentment

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ernie Banks talks about the positive and negative effects of sports on the public

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Twin boys Joey and Jerry Banks and daughter Jan Banks

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Ernie Banks receiving an award with soccer legend Pele

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Ernie Banks with his twin boys at the ballpark