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Dear America Wiki

The Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues is the eleventh book in the My Name Is America series. The book was written by Walter Dean Myers; his third for the series. It was first published in April 2001 and reissued in January 2013 under the new title, Down to the Last Out. The book was followed by The Journal of Jesse Smoke.


"For David Key, III, for whom the players in the Negro Leagues are a distant, but glorious, history."

Book description[]

"May 3
It's hard not to worry about white folks' ball because now that Jackie Robinson is playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Larry Doby is playing with the Cleveland Indians, everybody is thinking about going up. Just a year ago, Jackie played with the Kansas City Monarchs, and Doby played with the Newark Eagles. Piper said that some of the players were so busy looking around for white scouts, they couldn't find the white ball.

""I love this game, but it don't love me."
Biddy Owens lives for baseball. As the equipment manager, scorekeeper, errand boy, sometimes right fielder, and occasional hitter for the Birmingham Black Barons, he couldn't be happier. He is part of one of the best teams in the league—the Negro Leagues, that is. Because in 1948, few black ballplayers play for the Major League teams. White owners are reluctant to add too many blacks to their rosters given the escalating racial tensions. Along with scouting for athletic ability, the owners appear to be looking for "players who act a certain way" and won't react to the rampant racism of the day. But the Negro Leagues players are just as good as any, and attendance at their games is growing. The beginnings of the civil rights movement are in motion, and the world is watching Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby now that the color barrier has been broken. Can Biddy prove he's good enough to be part of the game, no matter what color his skin is? In his journal, Biddy chronicles the all-star season of the Black Barons as they travel the country—the wins, the losses, the friendships, the prejudices, but most importantly, the undeniable love of the game.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of The Journal of Biddy Owens characters


Main article: Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers was a children's and young adult author who wrote over one hundred books, including Fallen Angels and Monster. Myers wrote three books in the My Name Is America series, including The Journal of Joshua Loper and The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins.



"The author would like to thank David Brewer, Director, Friends of Rickwood, for his help in preparing this manuscript."


  • The portrait on the cover of the first edition is a photograph of baseball player Jimmy Newberry. The background is a photograph of the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons.[4]
  • The cover of the second edition was illustrated by Mike Heath.


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