Others tried more subtle means of aggravation.

"Whenever the black guys would bat, you'd hear derogatory comments from the stands, murmurs that were barely audible," said Schlee. "Some people would throw stones against the backstop, to distract the batters.

"If it bothered our guys, it never showed. Sonny hit some home runs of gigantic proportion, including one that sailed over the fence - and a house - at Union Bridge."

Only once did the Cubs respond to a racial slur from the stands. Sonny Brooks was at bat when his manager, Ray Wilson, charged the fan, grabbed his shirt and gave him what-for.

"I didn't hit the guy, but I gathered him up," said the manager, now 75.

And Brooks?

"I just made 'em pay for it by hitting," he said.

The media took note of the ethnic mix. Reporting their scores, the Frederick Post referred to the Cubs as "New Windsor's non-segregated nine."

The Cubs circled the bases and forged ahead.

"To us, it was never `Sonny is black' or `Sonny is colored.' It was just `Sonny,'" said third baseman Josh Owings. "If you picked on him, or Jasper or Buzzy, you were pickin' on all of us."

After five games, they had outscored opponents 108-26.

New Windsor was said to be piling on. West, the outfielder, was sitting in the chair at Wimpy's Barber Shop, getting a flattop, when a rival coach sauntered in for a shave.

"The coach asked me why we kept running up the scores. I told him, `It's not our fault that you can't get us out,'" said West.

Said Davis: "Having different races on the team made us work harder. We didn't want to lose to anybody."

Racial strife was sometimes hard to ignore. After New Windsor's Methodist pastor delivered a sermon in support of the Supreme Court decision, segregationists burned a cross on his front lawn.

"I remember seeing the charred `X' the next morning," said Schlee.

Nor did everyone in town approve when the hungry Cubs met at catcher Bob Cairns' house on Main Street for post-game meals of Minute Steaks and macaroni.

"Some people were infuriated, that we'd invite the whole team inside," said Cairns' mother, Julia, 91. "We got some nasty notes in the mail about that."

While there were contentious issues, the community had rallied round to make playing possible in the first place.

Heretofore, kids had played sandlot games in the pasture on Buzzy Lambert's farm, after shooing livestock and shoveling cow piles.