Forget A-Rod, Negro League players reflect on their love of the game

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Baseball absorbed a painful blow Monday when the league handed down the most severe punishment in decades—13 player suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball’s highest-paid player, Alex Rodriguez, said he would not to accept the league’s verdict. Now, the Yankee third baseman’s decision to fight his 211-game suspension seems to guarantee that he will remain in the spotlight at least for the rest of the season and possibly longer.

While Major League baseball has survived its share of black eyes over the years, plenty of men on these teams are intent on setting the record straight that they play the game hard, clean and for the right reasons. On Monday, three such men came to the White House for a private meeting with President Obama. As players in the Negro Leagues, “Minnie” Minoso, Pedro Sierra and Ron Teasley said they didn’t play for money or fame. They made their names in places like Ypsilanti, Michigan and Quebec, Canada, traveling to Mexico and Cuba to keep in game shape over the winter. For them, it was more about the way you played rather than the numbers you put up – a lesson they say Rodriguez never seemed to learn.

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