A tip of the baseball cap to the past, present, and future

The Negro Leagues were a source of incredible talent, pride, and opportunity for African-Americans who were excluded from pro baseball for decades. The late 1800s and first half of the 20th century were not the best of times when it came not just to racial equality, but even just racial tolerance. But adversity breeds perseverance, entrepreneurship, and a fervent desire to achieve one’s goals. With the Negro Leagues, we saw such characteristics on and off the field.

The efforts to start and build the Negro Leagues have influenced baseball for decades, have an imprint on today’s game, and will be seen in the future, as they are part of the DNA of MLB.

The U.S. Postal Service, which has recognized individuals and events associated with the great moments in our nation’s history, has honored the Negro Leagues in the past with several stamps depicting some of this country’s best baseball players. This past week, the USPS came out with two new stamps dedicated to this pioneering organization.

“The United States Postal Service is honored to be dedicating two stamps today in commemoration of Negro Leagues Baseball,” said Thurgood Marshall Jr., the Postal Service’s Board of Governors vice chairman. “In 1920, the first of several black leagues of the modern era was formed right here in Kansas City. It was called the Negro National League,” Marshall noted. “With the issuance of these stamps, the rich legacy of the Negro Leagues will travel far and wide, throughout this nation.”

Another great part of this story is that a former Negro League player, a group that now consists of less than 24 members, works for the Postal Service and was properly feted.

Birmingham, AL, postal employee Cleophus Brown played in the Negro Leagues for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Louisville Clippers. Brown, 76, has been a motor vehicle driver for the Postal Service for the past 30 years.

To read the full piece at the USPS’ website, please click here.