Knights to Honor Negro League Players, Celebrate Jackie Robinson on April 18th
BB&T Ballpark Concourse to Feature Former Players & Traveling Museum, Team to Wear #42 Jerseys
(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) -- On Tuesday, April 18th at BB&T Ballpark, the Charlotte Knights will once again showcase the rich tradition of the Negro Leagues and welcome five former players, as well as Negro League historians, and a customized historical display featuring photos, artifacts, and more. The celebration will also serve as the team’s annual Jackie Robinson Day Tribute, which will feature all Charlotte Knights players wearing #42 jerseys for the game against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947 and Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day each year on April 15th. The Knights are on the road on the 15th this season.
Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. game will feature five former Negro League players on-hand to meet and greet fans and sign autographs. The five former players who will take part in the team’s Negro League Tribute Day are Eddie “G.G.” Burton, Luther “Luke” Atkinson, Sam Allen, Bill Cathcart, and Carl “Satch” Forney. Burton is a current resident of Charlotte and has been honored during the team’s Negro League Night each of the past three seasons. Burton has played a big part in organizing the tributes each year.
Ray Banks, a Negro Leagues historian, will bring his customized historical display from Baltimore for all fans to enjoy at the game on Tuesday. The one-of-a-kind display features photographs, baseball gear and other artifacts that help tell the story of the period before baseball became completely racially integrated at the Major League level.
Members of the Buck Leonard Association for Sports and Human Enrichment will also be on hand with a table display. Leonard, a star in the Negro Leagues, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. He was born in Rocky Mount, NC in 1907 and passed away in 1997.
Negro League ambassador Michael Turner Webb, a Charlotte resident, will also be on hand for Sunday’s game. A 2013 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, Webb threw out the ceremonial first pitch at last year’s Jackie Robinson Day Tribute at BB&T Ballpark. Webb has also played a key role in putting together all Negro League events at BB&T Ballpark.
Gates are set to open at 6:00 p.m. for Tuesday’s game, which is the first “Turnback Tuesday” of the season. At each Tuesday home game this year, the Knights will honor an era of baseball in Charlotte. Starting with the game on Tuesday, May 2nd, all Knights players will wear 1990 Knights Throwback jerseys for all 10 remaining Tuesday games.
Single-game tickets for this game as well as all Charlotte Knights games this season are now available by phone at 704-274-8282, in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office, or online at charlotteknights.com. Tradition Never Ends!
Director of PR/Media Relations
324 S Mint St
Charlotte, NC 28202