In 2006, the Archives opened an exhibit entitled, "Play Ball" featuring interviews with some of Nashville's baseball greats. In honor of Black History Month, Back in the Day presents Jim Zapp.
Born in 1924 in Nashville, his baseball career began after his enlistment in the US Navy during World War 2.He joined a segregated military team while stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. His coach, impressed with his ability, transferred him to the white team, becoming only one of two African-American players in the integrated line-up. After the war, he signed with the Baltimore Elite Giants, returning home to Nashville in 1946 and joining the Nashville Cubs. Later he went to play for the Birmingham Black Barons, the Morocco Stars, the Nashville Stars and finally returned to the Elite Giants.
At the conclusion of the 1955 season, he retired from baseball. Mr. Zapp passed away on september 30, 2016.