Breaking racial barriers on radio (Oct 15, 1998)
Newark native sportscaster, Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell, passed away this morning. He leaves the legacy of his coverage as the first black sportscaster, reporting on the Negro League Newark Eagles. His radio career lasted thirty-eight years.
But Maxwell did more than announce. Perhaps his greatest contribution to sports was his almost-religious devotion to black baseball. He covered the Newark Eagles and gave stories to The Star-Ledger, which published them at a time when most major newspapers ignored the Negro leagues.
Without Maxwell, much of the history of the Negro Leagues and black baseball would have been lost, said Jerry Izenberg, longtime sports columnist at The Star-Ledger. “He got the scores out to people. He was one of the few people who kept records.”
In recognition of Maxwell’s efforts, Izenberg supported the sportscaster’s 1994 induction into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame.