Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suns Honoring Negro Leagues Teams Wear Old-Time Uniforms

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suns Honoring Negro Leagues Teams Wear Old-Time Uniforms

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott, Times-Union sports writer

Four players who saw action in the Negro League, including one who played for the Jacksonville Red Caps in the early 1940s, will be honored in pre-game ceremonies today at Wolfson Park prior to the Suns' game with Greenville.

Herb Barnhill, Henry (Bird) Clark, Harold (Buster) Hair Jr., and Art Hamilton will sign autographs before the game (2-3 p.m.). All were members of teams that played in the Negro American League or Negro National League in the 1930s and 40s.

The Negro National League was formed in 1933 and the Negro American League was chartered in 1937. The two leagues thrived until Major League Baseball's color barrier was broken with Jackie Robinson in 1947. The Negro Leagues played 11 World Series and created their own All-Star game (1933-48) that became one of the biggest black sports attractions in the country.

Barnhill played for the Jacksonville Redcaps for three of his nine seasons, 1938 and 1941-42. He was a catcher who began his career with the Red Caps in '38 and continued with the club for the next four seasons, including the two years the Red Caps were based in Cleveland and played under the banner of the Bears.

He later played for the Kansas City Monarchs and the Chicago American Giants, closing his career with the Giants in 1946.

Clark, Hair and Hamilton played for black teams after the Negro Leagues

folded. Clark started his career with the Monarchs in 1955 at the age of 16. He played with the team until 1958 when he joined the Army. A leg injury halted his career shortly thereafter.

Hamilton and Hair both played in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Hair's outstanding achievement came in 1958 when he led the league in hitting with a .355 average and when he batted against legendary great Satchel Paige in the All- Star game that summer.

The Suns and Greenville Braves will dress in old-time Negro League uniforms to honor the league and its former players. …

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