Monday July 6th, 2020 3:44PM

A long-overdue 'Tip of the Cap' to baseball's Black pioneers

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Barack Obama tipped his cap. So did three other former U.S. presidents and a host of prominent civil rights leaders, entertainers and sports greats in a virtual salute to the 100-year anniversary of the founding of baseball’s Negro Leagues.

The campaign launched Monday with photos and videos from, among others, Hank Aaron, Rachel Robinson, Derek Jeter, Colin Powell, Michael Jordan, Obama and fellow former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at tippingyourcap.com.

On the receiving end of those tributes are many of the Negro Leagues' greatest alumni: Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell and Jackie Robinson, who began with the Kansas City Monarchs and went on to break the color barrier in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Not long after, with many of its best players gradually following Robinson’s path, the Negro Leagues ceased operations.

Singer Tony Bennett, showing his heart, tips a San Francisco Giants cap. Californian Billie Jean King opts for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clinton said he chose a Chicago Cubs cap in honor of Ernie Banks, the late Hall of Famer who got his start in the Negro Leagues.

But, Clinton added: “This cap is for Hillary, too, when finally, the Cubs won the championship. Long before that, the Negro Leagues made baseball better and America better.”

The celebration was moved online after a major league-wide tribute to baseball’s Black pioneers scheduled for June 27 was shelved — along with the games — because of the coronavirus pandemic. At first, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick worried that his longstanding plan to honor the men and women who battled long odds for a game of their own would have to be postponed, at best.

“In our game, there’s nothing more honorable than tipping your cap,” Kendrick said. “And once I realized that national day of recognition was going to fall by the wayside, I thought, ‘OK, maybe we can do it next year.’ But that didn’t really do it.

“So then I thought, ‘How about a virtual tip of the cap?''' Kendrick paused, then chuckled. “And let me say here and now, there is no way I could have done this myself. I could not be more proud of the response.”

Kendrick got the lift he was looking for from communications specialist Dan McGinn and longtime NLBM supporter Joe Posnanski, a sports writer for The Athletic and author of “The Soul of Baseball,” chronicling his yearlong road trip promoting the Kansas City-based museum and the stories behind it with legendary Negro League star, the late Buck O’Neil.

O’Neil was the driving force behind the museum for decades. The NLBM has expanded several times since Rube Foster, as skilled an executive as he was a baseball pitcher, founded the first Negro National League at a YMCA on the same site in 1920.

Kendrick said his personal favorite tribute came from Jackie Robinson’s family.

“It’s Rachel tipping her cap, but there’s four generations of Robinson women in that video talking about our common cause and it evokes the kind of emotion at a time when our country really needs it,” he said.

“And you know,” he added a moment later, “it’s funny how this whole thing worked out. I always felt if there was going to be conversations about race in sports, the Negro Leagues should be at the center, because that’s the story: They triumphed over adversity.

“I got to know so many of them, and not a single guy that I met ever harbored ill will, at least to the point where they let it block their path. Everybody else thought the major leagues were better, but you couldn’t convince them,” he concluded. “They just wanted the chance to prove they could play this game as well as anybody else.”

They did, forging a rich legacy that will echo with a new generation thanks to something as simple as the virtual tip of a cap.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Greece eases more coronavirus restrictions
Movie theaters, casinos and children’s summer camps reopened in Greece on Monday, while concerts, conferences, commercial fairs and artistic events can once again be held, in the latest phase of the country’s easing of lockdown measures
7:16AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Militants attack Karachi stock exchange, killing at least 3
Militants have attacked the stock exchange in the Pakistani city of Karachi, killing at least two security guards and a policeman
7:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
A Long-Overdue 'Tip of the Cap' to baseball's Black pioneers
The short history of baseball's Negro Leagues is suddenly a tale for our times
7:04AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
What Would Have Been: World Series rematch at MLB midpoint
There would have been a World Series rematch July 4 in the national's capital if not for the coronavirus pandemic
2:14AM ( 5 hours ago )
USA Football plans return to play for youths in 2020
USA Football has developed a phased approach for the return of youth football this year
2:11AM ( 5 hours ago )
Patriots owner's prostitution case heads to appellate court
Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes are trying to save their case
1:33AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Sports
AP source: Yankees vs champ Nationals in DC on opening day
Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park
8:46PM ( 1 day ago )
Majors confronting short time period before opening day
Major league teams are planning to jump right into their preparation for the season when they start working out again next week
11:39PM ( 2 days ago )
No paychecks for 11 big leaguers: advance larger than salary
Eleven major leaguers won't be getting their twice-a-month paychecks during the abbreviated 60-game season
9:19PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Baseball
Democrats want John Wayne's name, statue taken off airport
In the latest move to change place names in light of U.S. racial history, leaders of Orange County’s Democratic Party are pushing to drop film legend John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses from the county’s airport because of his racist and bigoted comments
2:57AM ( 4 hours ago )
Beyoncé’s message, epic performances stand out at BET Awards
Beyoncé said voting in the upcoming election could help end a “racist and unequal system" in America while accepting the humanitarian award at the BET Awards
1:21AM ( 6 hours ago )
DaBaby pays tribute to George Floyd at BET Awards
Performing as a police officer pressed his knee on his neck, replicating the last few moments of George Floyd’s life, mutli-platinum rapper DaBaby rapped a verse from the Black Lives Matter remix of his hit song “Rockstar” at the BET Awards
10:10PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Daytime Emmys: 'The Young and the Restless' wins best drama
“The Young and the Restless” won best drama at the first virtual Daytime Emmys along with three acting trophies, with some winners speaking out about racial injustice
1:05AM ( 2 days ago )
Adult film star Ron Jeremy pleads not guilty to 3 rapes
Adult film star Ron Jeremy pleaded not guilty to charges of raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth
12:28AM ( 2 days ago )
Alex Trebek, "Jeopardy!" win Daytime Emmy honors
Alex Trebek won best game show host and “Jeopardy!”
10:11PM ( 2 days ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Liverpool clinches league title, ends 30-year drought
The 30-year wait is over
7:04PM ( 3 days ago )
Twins' Dominican slugger faces probe in kidnapping case
Authorities in the Dominican Republic say they will open an investigation into allegations Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sanó participated in the kidnapping and beating of a man in his homeland
6:07PM ( 3 days ago )
The Latest: Twins have had "a few" recent positive tests
The Minnesota Twins have had “a few” players in their organization recently test positive for COVID-19
5:35PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
The Latest: Greece eases more coronavirus restrictions
Movie theaters, casinos and children’s summer camps reopened in Greece on Monday, while concerts, conferences, commercial fairs and artistic events can once again be held, in the latest phase of the country’s easing of lockdown measures
7:16AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Militants attack Karachi stock exchange, killing at least 3
Militants have attacked the stock exchange in the Pakistani city of Karachi, killing at least two security guards and a policeman
7:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
EU, UK keen to step up the pace as trade talks resume
European Union and U.K. negotiators on Monday resumed in-person talks on a post-Brexit trade deal, with both sides keen to pick up the pace to try to clinch an agreement by the end of the year
6:40AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Virus pushes millions into hunger; UN seeks more food funds
Millions of people have been pushed into hunger by the new coronavirus, said the United Nations World Food Program
6:32AM ( 52 minutes ago )