Sunday, December 9, 2007
"Smokey" Joe After Baseball
When "Smokey" Joe Williams retired from baseball around 1932, he worked as a bartender at 547 Lenox Ave. in Harlem. The bar was an attraction for ballplayers who wanted to meet Joe. Buck O'Neil tells of dropping by with his Kansas City Monarchs. Monte Irvin and his friend Roy Campanella were regulars. Joe also did some scouting during this time, sending prospect Buck Leonard to a Hall of Fame career with the Homestead Grays.
The left photo is how the bar looked around 1940 when Joe worked there. On the right is a photo we took in September 2007. It's the storefront with the red awning.
Monte Irvin says that Joe also worked a second bartending job at the smaller Monarch Bar in the same vicinity. Anyone heard of that one?