Obama Salutes 100 Year Anniversary Of Negro Leagues With Other Baseball Legends

by Duke Magazine

Former United States President Barack Obama alongside three other erstwhile presidents of the U.S saluted the 100th anniversary of Negro League baseball in a virtual commemoration campaign launched Monday (June 29).

Obama, with former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, saluted the founding of the league in a series of videos, in lieu of an in-person celebration that was earlier scheduled for June 27, but impeded amid the coronavirus pandemic. The online celebration is at www.tippingyourcap.com and features several videos of notable people literally tipping their cap to the historic sports organization.

“Today, I’m tipping my hat to everybody in the Negro Leagues who left a century-long legacy of talent and spirit and dignity in our country,” said Obama. “So, here’s to Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and everybody else, including three brave women who did us all proud.”

The Negro Leagues were founded in February 1920, with the coming together of the groups of Black professional baseball clubs across the U.S. These leagues came up at a crucial time when Blacks were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues, and in many places were not even allowed to watch as spectators. 

Notable players like Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Josh Gibson, and Marcenia “Toni” Stone, who was the first woman to play professional baseball, were among the many who step on for diamond for the historic leagues.

The commemorative campaign had the photos and videos of some notable contributors to the leagues’ glory, with the likes of retired L.A Dodgers and Atlanta Braves slugger, Dusty Baker, Baseball Hall of Famers, Hand Aaron and Dave Winfield, with other MLB greats. Also, Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s widow, the first to break the pro baseball color jinx in the modern time, was seen saluting the centennial with her family.

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