Books: Heroes of the Negro Leagues

Leon Day, as depicted in Mark Chiarello’s ‘Heroes of the Negro Leagues’ (Photo / copyright Mark Chiarello)

Although not a new book, Heroes of the Negro Leagues will still stand out among the annual flood of springtime baseball offerings.

First published in 2007, the book’s narrative is provided by Jack Morelli, but it’s the illustrations by Mark Chiarello that carry it. A series of watercolors of Negro League ballplayers, some were originally published as trading cards in 1990, while others Chiarello painted specifically for the book. When first published as trading cards, many were the first time the player’s images had ever appeared as such.

Chiarello is best known for his work in the comic book field, as is Morelli for his lettering and editorial efforts.