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Irby, Morris, Jr.



First African American baseball player at Tennessee Tech University.

Morris Irby Jr. was born to Morris and Irene Smith Irby in Cookeville, Tennessee. He grew up in West Cookeville and played Little League Baseball on racially integrated teams. He attended the segregated Darwin School until the school burned in 1963 while he was in the eighth grade. His class completed the remainder of the term in a temporary classroom at Trinity Baptist Church. In the fall of 1963, he enrolled in the newly integrated Central High School. He graduated from Putnam County Senior High School in 1967. Irby played baseball for Putnam County Senior High School and caught the attention of the Tennessee Tech baseball coach. Sid Hatfield recruited Irby to attend and play for Tech on an athletic scholarship. He became the first Black baseball player at Tech when he enrolled in 1967. Irby graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He also earned a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from Tech in 1977.

For more on Irby, check out the biography in the 2019 Legacy Gala program:

Biography is an excerpt from:

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Baseball, 1968-1998, 2011-2021

Scope and Contents

Scorebooks, statistics, media guides, record books, roster cards, and programs of the Tennessee Tech University baseball team.

Digital files can be accessed online at:

Dates: 1968-1998, 2011-2021

Cookeville Theatre Company program, shirt, and poster

 Unprocessed Material — Folder 1-2
Identifier: 2023-0006
Dates: 2023-02-12