SABR Negro Leagues Committee awards $1,000 scholarships in 2016 essay contest

SABR’s Negro Leagues Research Committee is pleased to award $1,000 scholarships to five high school seniors in its eighth annual Thomas R. Garrett Scholarship essay contest in 2016.

Kevin Vernan Crosby, who will graduate with honors from the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, was awarded the Robert Peterson Scholarship. Kevin is 17 years old and will receive both his high school diploma and associate’s degree with his focus in Biology. During his time at AHS@PGCC, Kevin became a member of the National Honors Society; the Inter-Club Council Representative for Prince George’s Community College Pre-Health Professionals Club and became a member of Prince George’s Community College Honors program. He won the highly esteemed POSSE Foundation Full-tuition Merit Scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also admitted into Johns Hopkins University. Kevin was chosen as a 2016 summer intern at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Jansen Rouillard, who will graduate from Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, was awarded the Normal “Tweed” Webb Scholarship. Jansen will attend Rockhurst University in Kansas City in the fall of 2016. He plans to pursue a double major in Psychology and English, and hopes to one day become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist. Some of his greatest scholastic accolades include being named a National Merit Commended Scholar, the Rider High School Scholastic Award, and the Times Record News Star Student Award. When he is not in the classroom, Jansen enjoys playing tennis for his high school’s varsity team, where he has played in a variety of places and is a three-time Regional qualifier, as well as traveling around Texas playing USTA tennis in the Super Champ division. He is president of RHS Acapella Choir, and is a two-time UIL Division 1 State Soloist. Jansen is also heavily involved in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, National Society of High School Scholars, Spanish Club, Key Club, World Affairs Club, and Student Council.

Josephine Riedell, who will graduate through a homeschool assistance program in Iowa, was awarded the inaugural Jimmie Crutchfield Memorial Scholarship. Josie plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa to study Graphic Design and Art. She participated in drama, Mock Trial, and the Madrigal Singers in high school, and was also inducted into the National Honor Society. She spends time volunteering at the Hiawatha Care Center and is “obsessed” with birds and animals.

Grace Rootes, who is graduating from Noblesville (Indiana) High School, was also awarded the inaugural Jimmie Crutchfield Memorial Scholarship. Grace was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2016 and participated in show choir and dance team while in high school. She also started a school sponsored ASL club in 2014. Outside of school, Grace volunteered each summer at a youth camp and was a member of the White River Ballet Company. She is planning on attending Ball State University in the fall as a Hearing Impaired and Deaf Studies major. After that, she plans on pursuing a career in either interpreting or Deaf Education.

Grant Heindselman, who will graduate from Westlake Academy, an International Baccalaureate school in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, was awarded the Rube Foster Memorial Scholarship. Grant was elected as president of his school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and has volunteered regularly. He received the Presidential Gold Service Award for three straight years, recognizing those who volunteer at least 250 hours during each calendar year. Grant was the founder and president of his school’s Philosophy Club and treasurer of the Latin American Culture Club. He is going to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to pursue a medical career in order to continue helping others.

The contest was open to high school seniors and carrying a minimum GPA of 2.5 at the end of their junior year. Students had to write a 1,000-word essay answering a question related to one of the Negro League figures who are the namesakes of the scholarships.

The students will be recognized at the SABR Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference on July 7-9, 2016, in Kansas City. The selection committee was comprised of educators Leslie Heaphy, Stephanie Liscio, Mel May, Shawn Morris, and Charles Crutchfield.

The Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference is the only symposium dedicated exclusively to the examination of black baseball history. Learn more at


Originally published: May 24, 2016. Last Updated: May 24, 2016.