Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Former Negro Baseball League Legends

• Hank "Baby" Presswood, 90 - Infielder who played for legendary John "Buck" O'Neil. Hank played two years (1948 & 1949) with the Cleveland Buckeyes, then two with the Kansas City Monarchs - both as a Shortstop & 3B - between 1950 & 1952.
Recently Hank was "drafted," by the Chicago White Sox. Topps created a new Ginter card and Hartland created a figurine of him in March of 2009.

• Johnny "Lefty" Washington, 81- Morgan Park High School Grad. Played for Ted "Double Duty" Radclif where he finished the 1949 campaign with the Chicago American Giants. In 1950 he pitched for the Houston / New Orleans Eagles.  Johnny served his country in Korea (Marines) where he earned two Purple Hearts. In 2009 his high school (Morgan Park, of Beverly, IL) retired baseball his jersey.

• Ray "Boo Boy" Knox, 80- Catcher for the Chicago American Giants (1950). Illinois native. Attended Wheaton High School. They don't "boo" those (players) that are no good.  They only "boo," those that can play.  Also played in the Industrial League (in Chicago's Washington Park) for Hardwood Sports.

• Nathan "Sonny" Weston, 80, - Bloom High School Graduate and three-sport athlete. Bloom is also where Jerry Colangelo (former majority owner of the Phoenix Suns, and the D'Backs), Jim Boutin, and NFL star Bryant Young went to school.  In 2009 Bloom retired Nathan's baseball jersey. Sonny played in the outfield for Ted "Double Duty" Radcliff while with the Chicago American Giants. He was also the "last cut" on both the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.

Louis "The Grey Cat" Clarizio Jr. 78- Chicago American Giants 1950-1951 (OF) 1st (of 3) "white" players to sign in baseball's Negro Leagues (1920-1960)  (The only one still around today). Schaumburg, IL. resident.

Source: Gary Crawford  http://www.negroleaguelegends.org/