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Blue Rocks to host annual Tribute to Negro League Baseball

August 19, 2004 - Carolina League (CarL) Wilmington Blue Rocks

WILMINGTON, DE – The Wilmington Blue Rocks, along with the City of Wilmington and the Judy Johnson Memorial Foundation, will hold the Ninth Annual Judy Johnson Night – A Tribute to Negro League Baseball, on Saturday, August 21 as the Rocks host the Lynchburg Hillcats at Frawley Stadium.

The Blue Rocks and Hillcats meet at 7:05 p.m. wearing Negro League uniforms. The Rocks will wear the home uniform of the Kansas City Monarchs while the Hillcats will play in the road Homestead Grays uniforms.

Prior to the game, a ceremony will honor Negro League Baseball and some of its former players on Judy Johnson Field at 6:25 p.m. This year’s honoree is Ted (Double Duty) Radcliffe.

The 102-year-old received his nickname from famed sportswriter Damon Runyon, who saw Radcliffe catch the legendary Satchel Paige in the first game of a doubleheader and then pitch a shutout in the nightcap. Over his 36-year career in baseball, Radcliffe holds many Negro League records, played for more than 40 teams, and ended his career in 1952 as a batting and pitching standout in the Manitoba-Dakota League at age 50.

Radcliffe will throw out a first pitch, and after the game will sign autographs and pose for pictures. Other noted guests include Bill (Ready) Cash, Geraldine Day, Mahlon Duckett, Marjorie Ferrell, Sean Gibson, Stanley (Doc) Glenn, Harold Gould, Wilmer Harris, Dorothy Kimbrough, Bob Scott and Bert Simmons.

Past honorees of Judy Johnson Night have included Judy Johnson (1996), Buck O’Neil (1997), Gene Benson (1998), Josh Gibson (1999), Leroy (Toots) Ferrell (2000), Leon Day (2001), Jackie Robinson (2002) and Buck Leonard (2003). Other planned highlights will include a commemorative postal cancellation issued by the U.S. Postal Service, a silent auction of Negro League and sports memorabilia and collectibles, and a sale of Negro League Memorabilia.

Also, two college-bound high school seniors will be awarded Judy Johnson Memorial Scholarships. These awards are based primarily on sportsmanship and recipients are selected from the Annual Blue-Gold All-Star Baseball Game. The 2004 winners are Cody Collins and Matthew McCallister. Each will be awarded a $500 scholarship.

For more information on the Tribute to Negro League Baseball, please call the Blue Rocks at (302) 888-2015.

The Blue Rocks begin their next home stand on Friday, August 20 with a doubleheader against the Lynchburg Hillcats starting at 6:05 p.m. For ticket information, please call the Blue Rocks ticket office at (302) 888-BLUE (2583) or visit the Blue Rocks website at www.bluerocks.com.

- www.bluerocks.com -

Bio Sheet – 2004 Honored Guests

Theodore (Double Duty) Radcliffe

This year’s Judy Johnson night honoree celebrated his 102nd birthday last month, making Double Duty Radcliffe the oldest living player from the Negro Leagues. After more than 30 years in baseball, Double Duty holds many Negro League records and played for several of the best-known teams, including the Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Kansas City Monarchs, and Chicago American Giants. He received his nickname from famed sportswriter Damon Runyon, who saw him catch the legendary Satchel Paige in the first game of a doubleheader and then pitch a shutout in the nightcap.

Bill (Ready) Cash

Bill Cash was a rugged catcher and solid right-handed hitter with the Philadelphia Stars, who twice appeared in the annual East-West All-Star Game. And like many players of the Negro Leagues, Bill played winter ball in Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico.

Geraldine Day

Geraldine Day will appear on behalf of her late husband – Hall of Famer and Negro Leagues star Leon Day, who rivaled Satchel Paige as one of the Negro Leagues dominant pitchers from the late 1930’s through the 1940’s.

Mahlon Duckett

Throughout the 1940’s, Mahlon Duckett was a smooth-fielding and versatile second baseman for the Philadelphia Stars. Mahlon also enjoyed a good deal of success at the plate against the legendary Satchel Paige.

Marjorie Ferrell

Marjorie Ferrell will represent her late husband – Delaware Sports Hall of Famer and Wilmington’s own Leroy (Toots) Ferrell. In 1949, Toots Ferrell helped the Baltimore Elite Giants win the championship of the Negro American League with his 8-2 pitching record.

Sean Gibson

Sean is the great-grandson of the legendary Hall of Fame slugger Josh Gibson who played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays. Sean will represent both his great-grandfather and also his grandfather – Josh Gibson Jr., who was also a player in his own right with the Homestead Grays.

Stanley (Doc) Glenn

Stanley Glenn played with the Philadelphia Stars during the 1940’s. He was a big, strong-armed catcher and a great handler of pitchers. Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston scouted and eventually signed Stanley while he was still attending Philadelphia’s Bartram High School.

Harold Gould

As a big, hard-throwing right-hander, Harold Gould pitched two seasons with the Philadelphia Stars. “Big Red” fondly recalls the rivalry between the Stars and the New York Cubans. Harold can occasionally be found at Monmouth Park, watching his beloved racehorses run.

Wilmer Harris

Another product of the Philadelphia sandlots, Wilmer Harris joined the Stars in 1945 and pitched with them for six seasons. Wilmer also played first base, second base and centerfield. When pitching, Wilmer considered Hall of Famer Buck Leonard from the Homestead Grays his toughest opponent.

Dorothy Kimbrough

Dorothy will appear on behalf of her late husband Larry (schoolboy) Kimbrough, who played 10 seasons in the Negro Leagues with the Philadelphia Stars and Homestead Grays. A truly ambidextrous player, Larry could bat and pitch from both sides.

Bob Scott

Bob was a right-handed pitcher with the New York Black Yankees and Memphis Red Sox. Bob considered his most outstanding achievement playing with the Jackie Robinson All-Star Team.

Bert Simmons

Bert played two seasons with the Baltimore Elite Giants, where he pitched and played outfield. On the Elites, Bert was a teammate of Negro League standouts Toots Ferrell, Junior Gilliam and Joe Black.

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Carolina League Stories from August 19, 2004


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