Stewart: A profile of Negro Leaguer James ‘Jake’ Sanders

From Sherrel Stewart at on August 13, 2018:

Segregation shut out ballplayers like James “Jake” Sanders from ballparks and the major leagues, but it didn’t quell his passion for the game.

He attended the same high school in Fairfield as Willie Mays and went on to star in the Negro League. These days, Sanders travels the country telling the history of the league to school kids so the stories don’t get lost.

Sanders turns 84 this month, and he still loves to talk about baseball. He grew up playing in the streets of Fairfield, using a broomstick and tennis ball. He didn’t have the real equipment.

When he was about 12, Sanders’ father took him to a Negro League game at Rickwood Field. He saw Toni Stone, a female playing second base. He decided, if she could play baseball, he could do the same.

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Originally published: August 13, 2018. Last Updated: August 13, 2018.