Back in 1997, I wrote to Hall of Famer George Kell to ask of two baseball personalities he befriended.
First, I wanted to know about his dealings with famed general manager Branch Rickey. I had read that Kell helped Rickey with the early formation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A few players who faced contract battles with Rickey complained how hard-nosed “The Mahatma” was in negotiations.
Secondly, I praised Kell for being a role model for fellow Arkansas native Brooks Robinson.
“Thomas — Mr. Rickey got me involved in the FCA back in the early ’50s, and I found him to be just what he was advertised to be — a fine, outstanding Christian gentleman.
If I had anything to do with the formation of Brooks Robinson, I’m proud and flattered. He comes from a great background and is a fine role model.