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Publisher's Summary

Rollie Hemsley One of First 100 Alcoholics Anonymous Members Sobriety Date 4-16-1939

Number 77 on Anne Smith's list of the first 100 AA members Rollie Hemsley of Fredrick, MD; sobriety date April 16, 1939.

  • Played for Cleveland Indians during 1930s
  • At 23rd anniversary of Cosmopolitan Group Washington, DC April 26, 1968
  • AA number 77 on Ann Smiths list of Ohio AA members
  • Baseball player famous for his 1940 newspaper admission of being sober due to Alcoholics Anonymous
  • 29 years sober at time of talk
  • Rollie tells his story of drunken episodes and disgusted team managers
  • One involved a revolving door at a high class hotel, another involved assaulting a sports photographer who forced his way into Rollie's hotel room
  • Talks about trying a cure for his alcoholism about a year before being introduced to AA
  • This so-called cure was some form of aversion therapy; a prime example of pre-AA treatments Alcoholics were subjected to
  • How at the beginning of the season yet another drunken episode got him sent back to the team headquarters in Cleveland. A very lonely train ride
  • The circumstances by which he was introduced to AA
  • Hospitalized under Dr Bobs care and visited by the other early AA members
  • Rollie mentions reading a first edition first printing (Big Red) Big Book
  • Considering the date of his treatment, April 1939 he may have been the first person to read the Big Book in a medically supervised detox
  • His early sobriety recounts in detail how after a year of sobriety he finally told the inquisitive newspaper men that he was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Talks about helping others and his life in sobriety
  • At the beginning of this recording someone reads a brief history of the Cosmopolitan Group
  • The Cosmopolitan Group was begun by the author of Big Book story, Jim's Story
©2020 Thomas Laperriere (P)2021 Thomas Laperriere

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