Carl Long Oral History Interview

March 10, 2014
Oral History #OH0266
Hopfengardner, Jerrold D.; Long, Carl
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 audiocassette, 1.5 hours, transcribed.
Preferred Citation
Carl Long Oral History Interview (#OH0266), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

In this oral history, Carl Long (May 9, 1935 - January 12, 2015) discusses his professional baseball career (1952-1958) with the Negro American league and the Pittsburgh Pirates farm clubs including among others the Kinston (North Carolina) Eagles in the Carolina League where he was the first African American baseball player in the league; his time as the first African American deputy sheriff and first African American detective in Kinston; and his subsequent career as the first African American bus driver in Lenoir County (NC) from which he retired in 1995.

Biographical/historical information

Carl Russell Long (born May 9, 1935, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and died January 12, 2015, in Kinston, North Carolina) had a professional baseball career (1952-1958) beginning with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League, and played in the 1953 Negro League East-West All-Star game. In 1954, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and played through 1957 with the following Pittsburgh Pirates farm clubs: St. Jean (Quebec) Canadians, Provincial League; Billings (MT) Mustangs, Pioneer League; Phoenix (AZ) Stars, Arizona-Mexico League; Kinston (NC) Eagles, Carolina League; Beaumont (TX) Pirates, Big State League; and Mexico City (Mexico) Tigers, Mexican League. Long held the all-time Kinston shared single season record of 111 runs batted in (1956), was the first African American baseball player in the Carolina League (1956), and was inducted into the Negro League Hall of Fame and the Kinston Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. After Mr. Long's professional baseball career ended in 1958, he became the first African American deputy sheriff in Lenoir County (NC) and in 1960 became the first African American detective in Lenoir County (NC). After twelve years as a detective, he became the first African American bus driver in Lenoir County (NC) and continued in this profession for twenty-three years before retiring in 1995. After he retired, he continued to promote the heritage of the old Negro Baseball Leagues and youth baseball.

Long married Kinston resident Ella Smith in 1956 and they had three children: Cynthia Hightower, The Reverend Sotello Long, and a deceased daughter Teresa Long.

In 2013, Long published his autobiography with Diane Taylor titled A Game of Faith: The Story of Negro League Baseball Player Carl Long.

Administrative information
Processing information

Accessioned by Martha Elmore on July 15, 2015

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Long, Carl, 1935-2015
African American baseball players--North Carolina--Kinston
African American detectives--North Carolina--Lenoir County
Bus drivers--North Carolina--Lenoir County
Detectives--North Carolina--Lenoir County
Negro leagues--History
Sheriffs--North Carolina--Lenoir County