Wolf: Baseball in Hancock County exhibit highlights Home Run Johnson

From Jeannie Wiley Wolf at the Findlay Courier on March 22, 2016:

Jim Akin had a special job when he was young; he was the bat boy for the Browns, Findlay’s professional baseball team.

Now 88, the Findlay man has good memories of his time with the team that was in existence from 1937 until 1941. It was his job, he said, to help take care of the players, and his duties included oiling their gloves and retrieving errant balls.

“Of course, they let me go out and catch balls that were hit, to show off, because I was only a little guy,” he said.

His story is included in an exhibit at the Hancock Historical Museum titled “America’s Favorite Pastime: Baseball in Hancock County.”

The exhibit was developed by museum archivist Joy Bennett and highlights many local baseball teams throughout the county’s history with special focus on the Findlay Sluggers, a racially-integrated team of the 1890s. One of the team’s most accomplished players, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, will be inducted into the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame.


Bennett said for 50 years his grave in Hamburg, New York, remained unmarked. A tombstone and memorial was finally placed through the efforts of the Society for American Baseball Research’s Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project in 2014.

Read the full article here: http://thecourier.com/family-news/2016/03/22/root-for-the-home-team-at-new-exhibit/

Originally published: March 22, 2016. Last Updated: March 22, 2016.