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May 23, 2007


Gary Ashwill

Thanks very much for writing, although I'm sorry to hear that Mr. Riggins ("Baby Riggins") has just passed away.

It's interesting about his name--as his WW1 draft card shows above, he did sign it "Arvell" at least once. And his death certificate (from 1943) is in the name "Arvell Riggins" as well. I'd guess either he or his son changed the spelling at some point.

He was called by a few other names in the press--the NY Amsterdam News called him William "Bill" Riggins in an item about his funeral.


I just found out today at my Uncle Orville Riggins Jr.'s funeral, that his father and my great-grandfather was part of the Negro Baseball League and he was described as a speedy, switch-hitting infielder, ironically when my youngest son played baseball in the Detroit PAL League his coach nicknamed him speedy, because of his fast running ability. It was all in the genes!

Roosevelt A. Baugh

Gary Ashwill,

I am the Great Grandson Of Orville Riggins and his name isn't Arville. His Son Baby Riggins who we call Uncle Orville Riggins Jr died Tuesday November 30, 2010 Still in Detroit Mi . His funeral was today . I enjoyed your article and reading about my Great Grand Mother Jenny Jefferson from Colp Ill. Man thank you...
Roosevelt A. Baugh (My father is Norvell Who is the Son of the only daughter)

Frank Myers

great work

Patrick Rock

Yeah, sometimes it's best to not share your more exciting discoveries with a loved one who doesn't share the interest, or who lacks the same fervor.

Things like that are probably one of the reasons I'm not married today :-)

Gary Ashwill

Well--I was all excited, and told my wife about how I'd found out this guy's name was "Arvell, not Orville!" She just looked at me like I'd gone crazy.

Patrick Rock

Back from vacation, and already you have a big new find.

This is great detective work, Gary.

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