On May 21st and 22nd T.O. Productions hosted a Sports Card, Memorabilia and Autograph Signing Show at Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine. The big attractions at the show were three 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bear players: Emery Moorehead, Mike Richardson and Shaun Gayle. It was really cool to meet the Bears as I am a big fan and vividly remember the glory of the 1985 championship season.
While the Bears appearance was the big draw, for me, a special highlight of the day was the appearance of 4 former Negro Baseball League Legends: Hank “Baby” Presswood, Johnny “Lefty” Washington, Louis “The Grey Cat” Clarizio Jr. and Ray “Boo Boy” Knox. As a huge baseball fan who enjoys the history of the game, it was a great honor for me to meet these amazing gentlemen. I spent two hours listening to stories about Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and many other stars of their era. I heard how Johnny Washington picked off Hank Aaron. Louis Clarizio told me what it was like to be one of 6 white (and the last surviving) players in the Negro League. I heard how as a manager, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe would take half of each player's salary and keep it while on the road to prevent them from blowing their paychecks. These were just a few of the many stories that I had the honor to hear. I wish I brought a tape recorder with me to remember everything they told me!
If you are a baseball fan and enjoy the history of the game, don’t ever pass up an opportunity to meet and experience first-hand, the life stories of the former Negro League players. They really love to talk baseball and where else can you speak with players who knew and competed with some of the greatest players of all time--and played in a league every bit as good as the majors?
It was a day that I honestly will not forget.
We hope to invite these fine gentlemen to our market in Palatine or Rosemont in the future!
For more information, go to http://www.negroleaguelegends.org/
|Left to right: Louis "The Grey Cat" Clarizio Jr., Gary Crawford, Johnny "Lefty" Washington, David, Hank "Baby" Presswood, Donald, Ray "Boo Boy" Knox, Tony of T.O. Collectibleshttp://www.negroleaguelegends.org|