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Survial of the Eldest

With the Passing of "Double Duty", invest in Coca Cola shares in UAE "Goulash", Lester Lockett, Buck O'Neil, Sammy Drake, Andy Porter, Art Wilson, etc., etc.... here are those greats who rank among the "youngest," from the former Negro League Legends.

HISTORICAL PICS

On these pages are images from both, "Back in the Day" and today, as things stand now. Many of the people featured were very instrumental in the development of the Negro invest in Coca Cola shares Baseball Leagues. Of the Color photos taken throughout the Chicagoland area, these show what remains today.

APPEARANCES

Click Here to see Where your Favorite former Negro League Baseball Legends and your Former Barnstorming Baseball Legends will next Appear

CONTACT US

Negro League Legends.org Post Office Box Buy Coca Cola shares A3738 Chicago, Illinois 60690-3738

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Support our Efforts of getting the Fellas to Washington D.C.

 We need your help!   

Can you please contribute whatever amount you can afford in order to help finance our trip to the White House in late 2011 or early 2012 ?  All of these funds will be used to get the former Negro League baseball Legends to the White House for a reunion with the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama.   These funds will help pay for our transportation and accommodations to and from our Nation's Capital for this historic reunion.    are our only hope in making this happen. Which we hope happens sooner rather than later.   We Thank You in advance for your kindness.  (Please note, donors of large contributions, including in-kind contributions, such as travel vouchers and the like, can contact us for our 501(c)3 Tax ID number). AGAIN, THANK YOU!

 ALSO ... CHECK OUT OUR NEW BLOG @ NEGROLEAGUELEGENDS.WORDPRESS.COM

• In its third year, the traveling Pride and Passion exhibit is now in Aurora, CO and at the Detroit Public Library. On Sunday September 18th, former Negro League baseball player Mr. Mack Pride (Charlie's brother) will be their very special guest speaker.

This fabulous exhibit will continue to visit libraries nationwide (for 7-week stretches at time) through June of 2013.

 

FIVE YEARS AND COUNTING SINCE THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THIS WEB SITE.  ALL SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THIS SITE HAVE BEEN VERY MUCH APPRECIATED OVER THE YEARS.  WE HOPE WE HAVE BEEN HELPFUL IN ASSISTING YOUR REQUESTS, WHETHER THEY WERE FOR PLAYER INFORMATION, THE LEAGUE ITSELF, OR HOW TO GO ABOUT, "BOOKING" A PLAYER OR SPEAKER FOR AN UPCOMING APPEARANCE.

AS ALWAYS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO EMAIL US WITH ANY THOUGHTS AND OR QUESTIONS @ info@negroleaguelegends.org

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To Book A Player(s) for Special Appearances: Click Here.

  
NEGRO LEAGUE LEGEND UPDATED NEWSLETTER
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Support our Efforts of getting the Fellas to Washington D.C.

On Sunday August 28th, some of the Chicagoland based Negro League Legends such as: "Hank "Baby" Presswood; Johnny "Lefty" Washington; Nathan "Sonny" Weston; Lou "The Grey Cat," Clarizio; Ray "Boo Boy," Knox will be appearing at the famous and one of the largest Flea Market's in North America.  This Flea Market managed by the Wolff Brothers," begins at 8:00am with the fellas and I appearing at 10am.  The fellas will be autographing their items as well as those from you who want to obtain a piece of history. Costs begin at just $5. Many other items will be available for sell as well, so come and enjoy an outdoor summer morning at the Rosemont, Illinois "All-State," Arena near Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The players and over 750 vendors will be there till at least 1:30pm that aftrenoon.  Stop by and say hello to history.

Courtesy Mr. Bill Porter - Denver Post 08-08-2011.

Half a century has passed since the demise of Negro League baseball, and of the thousands of men who played on scores of teams, only about 200 survive. Like aging veterans of any vanished pursuit, they have a dwindling hold on the public's memory.

"Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience" is an effort to spark our consciousness about these players' role in the nation's pastime — and history.

The traveling exhibit starts Wednesday at the Aurora History Museum, which is co-hosting the show with the Aurora Central Library. Sponsored by the American Library Association, the free exhibit runs through Sept. 23, along with several concurrent educational programs.

"Players in the Negro League were

Mack Pride of Wheat Ridge played for the Memphis Red Sox and Kansas City Monarchs in the 1950s. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

some of the most talented and inspiring sports figures of their day," said Jennifer Kuehner, the museum's acting director. "The exhibit tells many remarkable stories of players and teams who were shut out of major-league baseball, but persevered in a sport they loved."

The show, which is arriving from Marion, Ind., before heading to Eugene, Ore., features photographs, lots of info and memorabilia from the heyday of the various leagues, which lasted from the 1870s until the demise of the last one in 1960, 13 years after  Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier. It also explores the post-integration role of blacks in baseball.

The exhibit's arrival in Colorado is appropriate, said Jay Sanfordhttps://www.storesonlinepro.com/account/921482, an area baseball historian who consulted on "Baseball," Ken Burns' 1994 PBS documentary.

Negro League baseball had a strong presence here. The Denver White Elephants flourished from 1915-35, owned by A.H.W. Ross, a black businessman (Five Points' Rossonian Hotel was named after him.) In 1884, the Pueblo Blues played against white teams. In 1885, pitcher  Bud Fowler, considered the first black professional player, joined the Pueblo Pastimes.

"Until he got off the train they didn't know

The St. Paul Gophers were among several independent, all-black teams to proclaim themselves "Colored World Champions" in 1909. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

he was black," Sanford said. "He was important not just because of his skill but his entrepreneurial ability. He did a lot to advance baseball for blacks."

And The Denver Post Tournament broke ground in 1936, when black and white teams played one another. "That was considered a real breakthrough," Sanford said.

Blacks had created their own professional teams by the late 1870s, and even played on white teams until an 1887 agreement among major league owners to not use black players. So regional leagues were formed, and in 1920, the Negro National League was created. It included teams such as the Kansas City Monarchs and Chicago American Giants.

That started what is viewed as the golden age of black baseball, at least

The popular Pittsburgh Crawfords in front of their team bus in 1935. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

in the years before Jackie Robinson. Players such as Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Buck Leonard and Leroy "Satchel" Paige became legends.

But Robinson's jump to the Dodgers, and the subsequent influx of other black players, led to the decline of the various Negro Leagues. The last surviving outfit, the Negro American League, was largely a barnstorming and de facto minor-league operation until its 1960 demise.

At 79, Mack "The Knife" Pride harbors vivid memories of the Negro Leagues. A pitcher with a wicked arsenal, the Wheat Ridge resident played for the Memphis Red Sox in 1955 and the Kansas City Monarchs in 1956.

Pride knew the legendary player-coach Buck O'Neil, and Hall of Famer Paige, who taught him a sidearm

Pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige at his 1971 Baseball Hall of Fame induction. He was the first player inducted solely on his Negro Leagues play. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
delivery, once said of him: "I ain't never seen anybody that little throw a ball that hard." (For the record, Pride in his prime was 5 feet 10 and a strapping 190 pounds.)

He is philosophical about the racism that led to the Negro Leagues and several generations of deferred dreams.

"I don't like to go back in history," he said on a recent afternoon at his kitchen table, where he leaned forward on a forearm that is still muscular. "I don't even like to back a car up. Racism is still out there, black and white. Let's not be naive about it.

"But you can't hate. It'll eat you alive. I'm not gonna walk around here with hate in my heart over something that happened 60 or 100 years ago."

Pride, who is slated to speak Sept. 18 at the Aurora History Museum, grew up in a baseball-playing family in Sledge, Miss. He had a brother who was also a fine pitcher but an even better singer — country singer  Charley Pride.

"I remember we pitched against each other during a game in Memphis at the old Crump Stadium," Pride recalled. "Charley was ragging me before the game, about how he was going to outpitch me. I get up to bat and, wham, I hit a home run off him. Went 398 feet."

By his account, that felt even better than the time he struck out 15 batters in a game.

Pride's major-league aspirations were derailed not so much by race as by an accident. A mishap with a screwdriver ruined his left eye, interfering with his ability to pitch and bat.

But he enjoyed a brief day in the major-league sun.

On June 5, 2008, Major League Baseball held a "draft" of surviving Negro League players as a gesture of reconciliation. Pride was tapped by the Rockies and honored during a game at Coors Field.

Sanford, the baseball historian, has high hopes for the "Pride and Passion" exhibit.

"What I'm counting on seeing is just a good chronology that goes back to the 1870s, when the first black players were paid to play," he said. "It's just such a deep history."

William Porter: 303-954-1877 or wporter@denverpost.com


"Pride and Passion: The African- American Baseball Experience" events

Sunday: Kickoff event at 2 p.m. at the Aurora History Museum, 15051 E. Alameda Parkway. Baseball historian Jay Sanford speaks. Museum hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: 303-739-6666

Aug. 24: America's Pastime: Baseball program at 2 p.m. Aurora Central Library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway. Advance registration required: 303-739-6626

Aug. 28: Kids Baseball Day with Rockies mascot Dinger. Aurora History Museum. 2-4 p.m.

Sept. 7: Children's story time at the Aurora History Museum. 10 a.m.

Sept. 18: Mack "The Knife" Pride, former Memphis Red Sox and Kansas City Monarchs player, speaks at the Aurora History Museum. 2 p.m.

You can learn more and to book players for appearances, go to:  www.NegroLeagueLegends.org.

email us  @ info@negroleaguelegends.org   AND / OR CALL: (312) 859-7788 FOR FURTHER INFO. IMPORTANT NOTICE

 

 

WE WELCOME THOSE 50 LIBRARIES NATIONWIDE WHO ARE HOSTING THE  PRIDE & PASSION EXHIBITION. THIS EXHIBITION IS CURRENTLY TRAVELING THROUGH 50 LIBRAIES NATIONWIDE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CONCLUDING IN THE SPRING OF 2013.

HAVING JUST STARTED EARLIER THIS SPING, PLAYERS THAT WE HAVE BOOKED HAVE ALREADY APPEARED IN OAK BROOK, LOCKPORT & HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS; MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN; CYPRESS (HOUSTON), TEXAS; DES MOINES, IOWA; CASPER, WYOMING; ETC., ETC.

NEGRO LEAGUE LEGENDS.ORG IS A PROUD CONTRIBUTOR TO THIS EVENT, ASSISTING LIBRAIRIES NATIONWIDE WITH THEIR BOOKING OF BOTH PLAYER AND SPEAKER APPEARANCES.

WE ARE HONORED TO BE LISTED AS THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES AND NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME (OF COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK) AS THEIR "GO TO SOURCE" FOR BOTH SPEAKERS AND NEGRO LEGEND BALL PLAYERS. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION & FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR EVENT, PLEASE CALL (312) 859-7788 OR EMAIL US AT INFO@NEGROLEAGUELEGENDS.ORG

BACK IN THE DAY:

On Friday January 30th 2009, former Negro League Legend Nathan "Sonny" Weston, 78 had his baseball jersey retired by Bloom High School, where he was a three-sport athlete, and arguably one of the fastest of them all!

Bloom, located in Chicago Heights, Illinois, has had many famous alums attend its great school, including Jim Bouton, Bryant Young and Jerry Colangelo, now 69, an American Businessman and Sports Mogul, as the former majority owner of the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. Colangelo was also instrumental in getting the former Winnipeg Jets of the NHL transfered to Phoenix now becoming the Phoenix Coyotes. Most recently, he was the National Director for USA Basketball helping Team USA bring home the Gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

As for Mr. Weston he played the 1951 season with the Chicago American Giants (along with the late great Ted "Double Duty" Radcliff) and also had tryouts with both the Brooklyn (nee Los Angeles) Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox where he was their "last cut."

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 On Friday Friday May 15th 2009, former Negro League Legend Johnny "Lefty" Washington, 79 had his #20 baseball jersey retired by Morgan Park High School, located in Beverly Illinois.

Washington was a two-sport athlete, and arguably one of their fastest swimmers! Today, the Morgan Park High School baseball club, nicknamed the Mustangs, is managed by a newphew of the legendary Double Duty, Head Coach Ted Radcliff. A versatile player, Washington was a left-handed starting pitcher, who also played first base and the outfield during his two seasons in baseball’s Negro Leagues. Even before Johnny finished high school, baseball was in his blood.

In 1948 Washington joined the Armour Meat Packing Company’s semi-pro team which played on Chicago’s South Side over at Washington Park. There he pitched twice a week in front of huge crowds, and it was during that time that he and fellow Negro League infielder Jack Marshall were encouraged to visit Dr. J. M. Martin - the owner of the Chicago American Giants.

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On May 16th thru May 18th 2008, we celebrated with a nice gathering of former Negro League Legends in Naperville, (Chicago) Illinois.

Legends on hand included many who played both in the Major Leagues and in the Negro Leagues such as; Cubs great GEORGE "Daddy Long Legs" ALTMAN, Hall of Famer MONTE IRVIN, Reverend BILL GREASON, SAMMY DRAKE and JC HARTMAN.

Some of the other names appearing included:

Carl Long, Hank "Baby" Presswood, Jim "Zapper" Zapp, Johnny "Lefty" Washington, Nathan "Sonny" Weston, and Ernest "Ernie" Westfield.

The Negro League Legends were there to help celebrate the 88th Anniversary of the first ever Negro League Baseball game, which was played May 20th 1920.
In 1954
REV. BILL GREASON was the St. Louis Cardinals 1st African American Pitcher

• The late SAMMY DRAKE - along with his brother Solly (who was unable to attend this show) were the first African American brother combination to play in the Majors. They both broke in with the Chicago Cubs and played along side Ernie Banks. The also played with Cubs & NY Mets.

Mr.
J.C. HARTMAN played with the Houston Colts 1962-1963 was the mentor to Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.

OTHER NEGRO LEAGUE LEGENDS...WHO WERE THERE:

* Carl Long - Birmingham Black Barons - who resides in North Carolina
* Jim "Zapper" Zapp (3B, OF) 1948-1954 - Birmingham Barons who lives in Texas

UP-COMING SHOWS:

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
MOUNTED MEMORIES Sports Collectibles Convention

November 18-20, 2011:        Friday 4:00 - 7:00pm.      Sat 10 - 3:30pm   

Sun 10-2:00pm
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois

(adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport)

image

 Stamps might still be available for $0.44 cents (US) thru usps.com.

Images courtesy of the United States Postal Services.

All right reserved.

                 

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