Growing up in Hastings in the 1930s and '40s, Dick Spady didn't fully understand or experience full-blown racism until he started playing professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization with Jackie Robinson.
A standout player in the Hastings American Legion program, Spady, now 83, didn't play with or against black players as a teen. But he did have black neighbors: the Hendersons and the Mullens, to recall a few, and he got along just fine with all of them. One black youngster, Moon Mullen, served as a bat boy for Spady's legion team.
He also remembers well watching Satchel Paige and other black players competing in barnstorming games played locally. His father, John, pitched in some of those games.