WKBN: Ohio lawmakers want to honor African-American baseball pioneer

From WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio, on February 15, 2017:

State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Thomas West (D-Canton) reintroduced legislation to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, the nation’s first professional African American baseball player, in Ohio.

The representatives want to designate Walker’s birthday on October 7 as “Moses Fleetwood Walker Day” in the state.

“Walker stood tall and persevered in the face of the incredible bigotry and discrimination he experienced throughout his career,” said West. “His legacy of bravery, which continues to inspire us today, deserves the proper recognition this legislation will bring.”

Born and raised in Ohio, Walker attended Oberlin College in 1877 and played on the school’s first varsity baseball team. His skill as a catcher and batter led to Walker being signed by the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883, where he would begin his professional baseball career.

“Walker prevailed against all odds, overcoming obstacles to break into professional baseball during one of our nation’s bleakest periods,” said Leland, who also serves on the board of trustees for the Columbus Clippers. “We introduce this bill today with the hopes of cementing Walker’s rightful place in history as the first African-American to play major league baseball in the United States.”

Read the full article here: http://wkbn.com/2017/02/14/ohio-lawmakers-want-to-honor-african-american-baseball-pioneer/

Originally published: February 16, 2017. Last Updated: February 16, 2017.