MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers will host the franchise’s seventh annual Negro Leagues Tribute at Miller Park this Saturday, July 28 vs. the Washington Nationals at 6:10 p.m.
As part of the Negro Leagues Tribute, the Brewers will wear reproductions of uniforms worn by the Milwaukee Bears, the city’s 1923 representative in the Negro National League. The team played only one season before disbanding but featured some of the game’s most influential men, including Hall-of-Fame player/manager John Preston “Pete” Hill. The Washington Nationals will join in by donning uniforms of the Homestead Grays, which played in the Negro Leagues from 1912-1950.
On this day, the Brewers will honor former Negro League players Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and Porter Reed in a pre-game ceremony. An autograph session with the two honorees will take place during the first 45 minutes of the game on the Field Level Concourse near home plate.
Johnson, 76, was one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues, along with Connie Morgan and Toni Stone. She was a right-handed pitcher and utility player for the Indianapolis Clowns from 1953-55. Johnson, who compiled a 33-8 record, earned her nickname “Peanut” when Kansas City Monarchs third baseman Hank Baylis taunted her because of her small size. Following her playing career, she was a licensed nurse for 30 years.
Reed, 90, was an outfielder and played with four different teams – Detroit Wolves, Ligon All-Stars, Omaha Rockets and Houston Eagles – from 1946-53. Known for his speed and for having a strong arm, he turned down a Major League contract by the Boston Braves in 1948. Prior to his career in the Negro Leagues, he served in the United States Army from 1942-46 and played baseball on the military teams while stationed overseas in Saipan.
The activities continue on Sunday, July 29 beginning at 1:45 p.m. when Johnson and Reed will be inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame at the Mother Kathryn Daniels Center located at 3500 W. Mother Daniels Way on the grounds of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Church (COGIC). The Brewers are once again partnering with the MKDC and the church as a sponsor of the annual induction ceremonies and other initiatives. This event is open to the public.
In previous years, the Brewers recognized pitchers Charlie “Whip” Davis and Johnny Washington (2011); pitcher Ollie Brantley and first baseman/outfielder Clinton “Butch” McCord (2010); infielder Harold “Buster” Hair Jr. and catcher James “Jim P” Tillman Sr. (2009); pitcher Eugene ‘Dick’ Scruggs and first baseman James ‘Red’ Moore (2008); and outfielder W. James ‘Jim’ Cobbin and catcher Arthur Hamilton (2007) as they were inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame. During the Brewers initial Negro Leagues Tribute in 2006, Buck O’Neil, James Sanders and Dennis Biddle were each honored.
The Brewers will auction the game-worn Milwaukee Bears uniforms worn by Brewers players and coaches at brewers.com, starting at noon CT on Wednesday, August 1 and continuing through Wednesday, August 15 at 5 p.m. CT. The proceeds from the auction will go to Brewers Community Foundation to benefit the Yesterday’s Negro League Baseball Players Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. For additional information or ticket info, fans can visit www.brewers.com.