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The decline of the redfish; look back at New Orleanian who almost became MLB’s first Black pitcher

Johnny Wright pitching for the Homestead Grays, the Negro Leagues team where he pitched from 1941 to 1945 and again in 1947.
Wikimedia Commons
Johnny Wright pitching for the Homestead Grays, the Negro Leagues team where he pitched from 1941 to 1945 and again in 1947.

The red drum, more commonly known as the classic redfish, is a popular fish in the region. But now, the population is starting to decline. What does it say about a bigger collapse of similar species?

Boyce Upholt, a reporter for the Food & Environment Reporting Network based in New Orleans, tells us about the rise and fall of this famous fish on the first part of the latest episode of Sea Change.

Black baseball history runs deep in the South, and New Orleans fielded plenty of talented teams, including New Orleans Black Pelicans, Crescent City Stars and Armstrong Secret 9. But the stories of some of the most talented Black athletes to come out of the city have been lost to time. This includes Johnny Wright, a player in the Negro Leagues Brooklyn Dodgers just months after Jackie Robinson, who almost became the first Black pitcher in the Major Leagues.

Back in October, we spoke with Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro League Baseball Museum, about Wright and his legacy. Today, we give that story a second listen.

And before we go, next Wednesday we are airing the first episode of our new podcast, Road to Rickwood. Hosted by comedian Roy Wood Jr., and executive produced by Alana Schreiber, the podcast looks at the history of Rickwood Field in Birmingham Alabama —the oldest baseball stadium in the country — and how that one venue touched multiple historic events throughout the 20th century. Today, we get a sneak peek of the podcast.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Alana Schreiber. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.