The remarkable life of David Malarcher

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ST. JAMES PARISH, La. (WGNO) - David J. Malarcher was born and buried not far from where the Union Water Tower stands in St. James Parish.

The youngest of 11 siblings, he was the son of a laborer who worked the sugar cane fields and a mother who was born a slave.

It's what Malarcher accomplished between the lines of his life, the plantation fields near Convent, and his life as a Negro League baseball player, manager, real estate broker and poet that defined this remarkable man.

He was a student at the former New Orleans University (now Dillard University), where his poetry now lives in the school's archives.

"Our alma mater, alma mater. Mother of my grown-up hood. You bound up ignorance in light and made its perils understood." -David Malarcher

Malarcher's 16-year baseball career was interrupted after being drafted into the U.S. Army. He was a sergeant who served in France during WW II.

After the war, he joined the Chicago American Giants and the New Negro National League.

He's regarded as one of the best third basemen and power sluggers of the 1920s.

Sportswriters of his era called him "Gentleman Dave" for his gentle approach and discipline during his baseball career.

Malarcher managed Chicago's other professional baseball team to two Negro Word Championships in 1926 and 1927.

After quitting baseball, he became a successful real estate broker in Chicago, where he lived until his death in 1982.

Honors for "Gentleman Dave" have been slow to come.

In 2015, the Zephyrs inducted him into the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. In June of this year, 34 years after his death, he was enshrined into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

In the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, personal items from his career are stored in the hallowed archives of baseball's greatest players.