PHILADELPHIA TEAM VISITS EVANSTON IN JACKIE ROBINSON TRIBUTE
EBSA Hosts Barnstorming Youth Team
April 15, 1947 - Jackie Robinson takes the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African American to play Major League baseball in the 20th century, opening the door for future generations to pursue their dreams. For decades African Americans, shut out of the major leagues, formed and played in their own leagues - the Negro Leagues. In the off-season, players from the Negro leagues often boarded buses and "barnstormed" their way around the country, playing games against town teams, as well as Major League players. It was a tough way to live but a way to make a living playing the game they loved. The high level of play and the success these players enjoyed were what paved the way for Jackie Robinson's historic accomplishment.
Fast forward 65 years... June 30, 2012 - as a tribute to Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues, the Anderson Monarchs, an inner city, 11 year-old African American baseball team from South Philadelphia, will board an authentic 1947 Flexible Clipper touring bus, and embark on a 22-day, 4000-mile journey - barnstorming their way across the country - all the way to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, arriving during the 2012 Major League Baseball All Star Game festivities.
Along the way, The Monarchs will play games against local youth teams, meet surviving players from the Negro Leagues, visit historic sites - such as Jackie Robinson's grave site in Brooklyn, Wrigley Field, the Field of Dreams in Iowa, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, the three remaining stadiums in the country which Negro League teams called home, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. http://www.andersonmonarchs.org/
On July 5th, an EBSA team of local 11 year old players assembled for this event will host the Anderson Monarchs in Evanston at James Park (7 pm) for a baseball game. Evanston's own and former Negro League player, Ray"Boo Bay" Knox is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at 7:15 pm and will be available to sign autographs. Prior to the start of the game, the talented local singer, Selina Hilliard, will sing "lifting every voice and sing".
Current ETHS coach, Thomas Ingram, will coach the team assisted by several former graduates of EBSA and the Jackie Robinson baseball program.
The Anderson Monarchs were started in 1995 through the Philadelphia Youth Organization (http://www.philadelphiayouth.org/ ) whose mission is to provide inner city boys and girls with the opportunity to learn and develop both athletically and academically in an environment that builds character, leadership skills, self-discipline, and confidence.
EBSA has been operating in Evanston for over 60 years and is the largest non-profit youth sports organization in Evanston and is run entirely by volunteers. Each year EBSA serves over 1,400 boys and girls ages 5-14 in youth baseball and softball programs.
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If you would like more information about this event please visit the Anderson Monarchs website