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Baseball’s Coronavirus Shutdown Reminds Some of Similar Season a Century Ago

 Rube Foster, one of the best pitchers of the early 20th Century, worked with a white man, J.L. Wilkinson to establish the Negro National League during the segregation era in baseball. (Photo: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum)
Rube Foster, one of the best pitchers of the early 20th Century, worked with a white man, J.L. Wilkinson to establish the Negro National League during the segregation era in baseball. (Photo: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum)

Major League Baseball is ironing out details to start a shortened season in July, since the first part of the season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. You could say history is repeating itself in a way. More than 100 years ago, the global flu pandemic of 1918 disrupted another baseball season, and helped alter the game’s history forever. Greg Echlin explains.


The Kansas News Service reports on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life. Discover more at ksnewsservice.org

 

Greg Echlin is the sports reporter for KPR and KCUR. Ever since he set foot on the baseball diamond at Fernwood Park on Chicago's South Side, Greg Echlin began a love affair with the world of sports. After graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, he worked as a TV sports anchor and a radio sportscaster in Salina, Kansas. He moved to Kansas City in 1984 and has been there since covering sports. Through the years, he has covered multiple Super Bowls, Final Fours and Major League Baseball's World Series and All-Star games. With his high metabolism rate, Greg is able to enjoy a good meal and stay slim when he's not running around on the sports scene. He loves desserts, even making them. Cheesecakes, pies and parfaits are the most common around the Echlin household.