Whirty: Shining a light on black baseball star Ted Strong
From SABR member Ryan Whirty at the South Bend Tribune on June 3, 2014:
Sherman Jenkins wants answers.
The journalist, interviewer and author practically demands to know why Negro Leagues baseball star and South Bend native Ted Strong, despite serving honorably in the Navy during World War II, was denied a full military funeral and instead lies buried in an unmarked grave in suburban Chicago.
“That still remains a mystery, and I was kind of taken aback by that,” said Jenkins, who is working on a book about Strong, Strong’s father, Ted Sr., and his brother, Othello, also talented athletes. “He was honorably discharged, but why he hadn’t gotten all of that (military pageantry), remains a question, and it’s one of the things I’m trying to work on.”
Jenkins isn’t alone in his desire to finally provide Strong Jr., who died in 1978 at (most likely) age 61, the dignity in death that has so far eluded him. Thanks to the nationally known Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project, which has already placed burial stones on the previously unmarked graves of dozens of Negro Leaguers, Strong will receive a marker at his burial site at Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island, Ill. NLBGMP founder Jeremy Krock said the stone has arrived at the cemetery and is just waiting for formal dedication.
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This page was last updated June 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm MST.