JACKIE - BILLY

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    JACKIE - BILLY

    BILLY SUNDAY byname of WILLIAM ASHLEY SUNDAY (born Nov. 19,
    1862/63, Ames, Iowa, U.S. and died Nov. 6, 1935, Chicago), American evangelist
    whose revivals and sermons reflected the emotional upheavals caused by transition
    from rural to industrial society in the United States. Sunday grew up as an orphan and
    worked as an undertaker's assistant before entering professional baseball in 1883. In
    1891 he gave up baseball to become a YMCA worker but turned in 1896 to
    conducting religious revivals in major American cities. Ordained a Presbyterian minister
    in 1903, Sunday was theologically a fundamentalist.

    Sunday reached the peak of his fame in his
    New York City revival of 1917, two years before prohibition became national policy
    by constitutional amendment. He claimed that 1,000,000 "hit the sawdust trail" to come
    forward and profess their conversion to Christ as a result of his preaching. Considered
    by some critics a sensationalist, he nevertheless gained the enthusiastic support of
    evangelical churches and influential laymen.

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    Jackie Robinson's number (42) is retired in every stadium including
    Busch Stadium. Yet Branch Rickey who not only helped integrate baseball but
    saved Cardinals, Dodgers and Pirates from being teams of mediocrity doesn't
    even have a plaque in town.
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