May 17, 2003

MAY 17, 2003

OBITUARY: Joseph B. "JB" Spencer Jr., who played with the Homestead Grays and Birmingham Black Barons in three Negro Leagues championships, died May 17 in Gretna, La.

He was 83. He spent 14 years barnstorming with a number of Negro Leagues teams -- including the Baltimore Elite Giants, Harlem Globetrotters, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Seattle Steelheads, New York Cubans and New York Black Yankees.  He played against and with some of the top players of the time, including Jackie Robinson.

On the Grays, Spencer gave Robinson fielding tips, said Herbert Simpson, Spencer's roommate at the time.  He also spent five years in the minor leagues, ending his career in 1955.

Henderson Murray Funeral Home in Algiers said Spencer's burial is set for Friday in McDonoghville Cemetery in Gretna.