Topeka, Kan. — Negro League players were more than athletes. They were activists, who, through their work on the field, challenged the popular belief at the time proving that African Americans were equal to whites on and off the field.
Still, few Negro League legends received the fanfare that white players received for their accolades. In fact, many players ended their careers working menial jobs and being buried in unmarked graves.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project–a project that restores the unmarked graves of Negro League legends– is bringing these players legends and lives out of obscurity.
“It’s important for people to realize that many of these ballplayers when they left professional baseball, they were forced to take menial jobs such as custodians and security guards. Many of them had to work for minimum wage,” said Larry Lester, chairman of the Negro League Committee for the Society of American Baseball Research.