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Resolution RS2020-228 (as amended)

A Resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Old Negro Leagues Baseball.

WHEREAS, African Americans began playing baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to professional teams with white players; and

WHEREAS, Moses Fleetwood Walker and Bud Fowler were among the first pioneering African Americans to participate, however, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would eventually force African American players from professional teams by 1900; and

WHEREAS, on February 13, 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster -- a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants -- led eight independent Black Baseball team owners into a meeting at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri; and

WHEREAS, the meeting produced the creation of the Negro National League, the first successful, organized professional Black Baseball League that provided a playing field for African American and Hispanic baseball players to showcase their world-class baseball abilities; and

WHEREAS, soon after the league formation in 1920, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, bringing the thrills and innovative play of black baseball to major urban centers and rural areas in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America; and

WHEREAS, the Negro Leagues became a catalyst for economic growth and development in African American communities across the nation and helped spark social change in America; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, on the 99th Anniversary of the historic meeting, officials at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) announced plans to lead a yearlong national Centennial Celebration in 2020 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Negro Leagues; and

WHEREAS, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America; and

WHEREAS, the museum’s 100th Anniversary festivities include a major fundraising initiative, opening of the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center at the site of the Paseo YMCA, and an array of programs and events in Kansas City and select U.S. cities across the country; and

WHEREAS, in addition, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will use the 100th Anniversary to establish February 13th as a “National Day of Recognition”; and

WHEREAS, the following Nashvillians were players, managers, or owners during the Negro Leagues era and are recognized in honor of the 100th Anniversary: James Abernathy (Left Fielder, 1945-1948), Dan Black (Catcher, 1950), William “SOO” Bridgeforth (Team Owner, Nashville Elites, 1951-1954), Sidney Bunch (Center Fielder, 1954), Elliott Coleman (Pitcher, 1954-1955), Wesley “Doc” Dennis (First Baseman, 1942-1948), Ed “Lefty” Derrick (Pitcher, 1945-1949), James “Junior” Gilliam (Second & Third Baseman, 1946-1950), Henry Kimbro (Center Fielder, 1937-1953), Ed Martin (Pitcher, 1951-1952), Clint “Butch” McCord (First Baseman, 1947-1950), Bruce Petway (Catcher, 1906-1925), Norman “Turkey” Stearnes (Center Fielder, 1923-1942), Taylor Smith (Pitcher, 1948-1953), Tom Wilson (Team Owner, Baltimore Elites, 1921-1947), and Jim Zapp (Left Fielder, 1942-1954); and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognize the 100th Anniversary of Old Negro Leagues Baseball and celebrate the historical organization that inspired a nation to embrace diversity and inclusion.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Old Negro Leagues Baseball.

Section 2. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Sharon Hurt, Jeff Syracuse, Sandra Sepulveda, Courtney Johnston, Bob Mendes, Brandon Taylor, Emily Benedict, Dave Rosenberg, Burkley Allen, Jennifer Gamble, John Rutherford, Kathleen Murphy, Tonya Hancock, Bob Nash, Russ Pulley, Kyonzté Toombs, Freddie O'Connell, Joy Styles, Sean Parker, Delishia Porterfield

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedMarch 5, 2020

Amended and AdoptedMarch 5, 2020

ApprovedMarch 9, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 03/10/2020 11:28 AM