• Brian L. Barefield

Negro League Celebration Baker talks about the MLB honoring the Centennial Year for the Negro Nation

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

On Sunday, Major League Baseball honored the Negro National League and it’s 100th year anniversary. Everyone associated with the MLB had on Negro Leagues 100th anniversary logos at all ball parks. The NNL was formed during the 1920s and was the first of the seven leagues formed for “Colored Players.” The “Negro Leagues” were established because black players were not allowed in MLB.

“I think it’s very appropriate that we are honoring them,” said current Astros manager Dusty Baker who is one of only two black managers in MLB.

Baker went on to talk about the number of Negro League players he had the opportunity to talk with during his time in the majors. It is something he will cherish and never forget as players such as Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Cool Papa Bell, Hank Aaron, etc. paved the way for him to be in the position he is in today.

“When I was with the Braves in 1968, I was a September call up. Satchel Paige was on the team. I was very fortunate and didn’t know how fortunate I was. I feel very, very blessed that I could listen to the stories. They went through a lot to play baseball,” said Baker

The Astros skipper showed us his custom wristbands with Josh Gibson displayed on them. Gibson was a catcher in the Negro League who baseball historians consider to be one of the best power hitters and catchers to every play the game.

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

Earlier this year a $1 million donation was made in a collaborative effort to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri by MLB and the MLB Players Association.

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