Mobile native Frank Marsh Jr., known as “Lefty” during his playing days in Negro Leagues Baseball, died on Feb. 9 at the age of 90.
Marsh played for the Mobile Black Bears, Birmingham Black Barons, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars. He was the first Black to play for the Johnson City, Tenn., Cardinals in 1953. That season, he led the team in batting average, runs batted in, hits and stolen bases. A first baseman and outfielder, Marsh had a solid baseball career.
“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is saddened to learn of the passing of former Negro Leaguer, Frank Marsh Jr.,” said NLBM president Bob Kendrick in a message to Lagniappe. “Mr. Marsh was a talented player who as a longtime educator epitomized the athlete that called the Negro Leagues home! We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
After graduating from Central High School in 1949, Marsh attended Grambling University on a baseball scholarship. He was drafted but chose to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, from which he was honorably discharged and upon his return to Mobile friend Jesse Thomas, a baseball scout, arranged a tryout for him. That led to his Negro Leagues playing days.
Following his baseball career, Marsh returned to Grambling and completed his degree. He returned to Mobile and spent 20 years in the Mobile County Public School System as an educator.
He is survived by four children — Michael Marsh, Dwight Rover, Debra Anding and Michelle Marsh. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, as well as several other family members.
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