Review & Giveaway: Champion of the Barrio by R. Gaines Baty

Baty
CHAMPION OF
THE BARRIO
The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty
by
R. Gaines Baty
  Genre: Biography / Sports / Civil Rights
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Date of Publication: February 9, 2015
Number of Pages: 288

 

Scroll down for Giveaway!
Baty

In 1947, after serving in WWII and quarterbacking the Texas Aggies during the glory days of the old Southwest Conference, Texas football legend Buryl Baty was drafted by the Detroit Lions. But, the NFL wouldn’t be where he’d create his legacy. He instead became the head football coach at Bowie High School in El Paso, where he’d inspire a team of Mexican Americans from the Segundo Barrio with his winning ways and stand against the era’s extreme, deep-seated bigotry.

Tragically, however, just as the team was in a position to win a third championship in 1954, they were jolted by news that would turn their worlds upside down.
Later, as mature adults, these players reflected on Coach Baty’s lasting inspiration and influence, and 44 years after his death, dedicated their high school stadium in his name. The El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame followed up that honor in 2013 by inducting Baty posthumously.

In this poignant memoir, Baty’s son, R. Gaines Baty, describes his own journey to know his father, portraying the man’s life and accomplishments through the perspectives of nearly 100 individuals who knew him, including many of the young men he coached and whose lives he changed. In addition to many documented facts and news reports, NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry provides a heartfelt and relevant foreword.

A university professor labeled this an important and historic piece of work. It is also a moving story of leadership and triumph over hardship, over discrimination, over tragedy, over one’s self.

 PRAISE FOR CHAMPION OF THE BARRIO:
“The best love story I have ever read.” –William “Bill” Reed, author and retired news reporter/assistant editor at the Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News.
Champion of the Barrio is an important contribution to our understanding of the power of sports to reach, teach, and transform and a vivid portrait of an inspirational figure who was cut down too soon.” –Alexander Wolff, award-winning sports journalist, Sports Illustrated
“You could not grow up in Paris, Texas without knowing about Buryl Baty. He took on the world, and he won. This is an inspiring account and a great read.” –Gene Stallings, former head coach at Texas A&M, of the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals and of the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide; Member, College Football Hall of Fame
“I knew Buryl Baty well. He created a glorious era and legacy for his team and school, and it was unbelievable how he captured El Paso’s heart. This is a gripping story — that brought tears to my eyes. Buryl Baty’s name lives on.” –Ray Sanchez, former writer and editor of the El Paso Herald-Post, author of seven books, member of five Halls of Fame and consultant for the movie Glory Road
“Perhaps one of Buryl Baty’s most important legacies is the hard lessons he taught a generation of Mexican Americans, who overcame so many strikes against them. El Paso owes Gaines Baty a ton of gratitude for reconnecting us with a man whose story continues to inspire.”El Paso Times

lonestarlitreview

I’ll start with a few confessions. First, I’m generally not the first to pick up a sport-related book, and while I’m aware of the Texas passion for football, my understanding of it is weak. I’m also a recent transplant to Texas, so I confess my knowledge of Texas history is inadequate. Finally, I can honestly admit that most of my exposure to Civil Rights-era racism has been largely focused on the black community.  This book was eye-opening and absorbing on all three counts.

“Football is a lot like life. When you work hard and do it right, good things happen.”

As a biography, it paints a fascinating, detailed picture of Buryl Baty, as an incredible player, a soldier and a coach. It offers a well-documented look at the way he inspired and motivated the teams he led. To Baty, football was about discipline, and his expectations of his players reached into their daily lives.

More importantly, it was an eye-opening look at racism and discrimination against Latinos in that era, and how Baty’s stubborn stance against it on and off the football field truly inspired his team and a generation. Coach Baty stood up for these boys, and it is this, and how just one man changed things for the better for a group of people.   More than just compelling tale of football, it is a telling a part of Texas history that should not be forgotten, and Coach Baty’s example is one that should be honored and emulated.

“How other people behave is not your fault…Don’t ever let anybody treat you like you are inferior to them. You’re just as good as they are and you have a right to go after your dreams. Nobody has the right to stand in your way.” 

Powerful words, indeed. Go read this book. We all need a reminder of how much is possible when one person stands up for what is right.
CLICK TO PURCHASE: 
Amazon | Texas A&M University Press

 

R. GAINES BATY, Coach Buryl Baty’s son, was a “Featured Author” and panelist at the 2015 Texas Book Festival in recognition of Champion of the Barrio, He has been published or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Healthcare IT News, etc. Professionally, he founded and leads a nationally-recognized executive search firm, and is a career counsellor, trainer and author. Previously, he was an accomplished college athlete, receiving All-Southwest Conference and All-Era honors. In 2011, he was inducted into the Garland (TX) Sports Hall of Fame.

 

  
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!   
FOUR WINNERS EACH WIN A SIGNED COPY:
(US ONLY)
November 10 – 19, 2016
 
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:


11/10
Scrapbook
11/11
Author Interview
11/12
Review
11/13
promo
11/14
Review
11/15
Audio Interview
11/16
Excerpt
11/17
Review
11/18
Author Interview
11/19
Review

 

 

blog tour services provided by:

 

Comments

  1. This is a great review in that it captures and explores several of the more important dimensions of the story. This was a great man and he did great things…well-ahead of his time. Thank you Momma for your insights.

    • He certainly was an inspirational man! I’m sorry you lost him at such a young age – I’m sure he would be proud of this book!

  2. Thank you. My hope is that this book – his story – will continue his work of inspiring people

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: