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Brewers annual Negro Leagues tribute set for Saturday

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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers will host the franchise's eighth annual Negro Leagues Tribute at Miller Park this Saturday, July 20 vs. the Miami Marlins 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 Miami Marlins will join in by donning uniforms of the Minor League Miami Marlins, who were a Triple-A franchise in the International League from 1956-1960. Hall-of-fame pitcher Satchel Paige was a member of the Marlins towards the end of his playing career from 1956-58.

On Saturday, the Brewers will honor former Negro League players George Altman and Lonnie Harris 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. 

Altman, 80, was an outfielder for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1955. Nicknamed "Jo-Jo," he played three months in the Negro Leagues before signing with the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs (1959-62, '65-67), St. Louis Cardinals (1963) and New York Mets (1964). Altman was a National League All-Star in 1961 and 1962. In addition, he spent seven seasons playing in Japan, where he finished his baseball career in 1975.

Harris, 83, played eight seasons in the Negro Leagues (1953-1960) as an outfielder with the Birmingham Black Barons and Memphis Red Sox. Nicknamed "Showboat," he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1953 and played in the East-West All-Star Games in 1953 and 1955. While serving in the U.S. Army, Harris won a batting title. In addition to his accomplished baseball career, he earned three bachelor's degrees and a master's degree from the University of Memphis. After graduating, he taught special education and worked with the Board of Education for 20 years.

The activities continue on Sunday, July 21 beginning at 1:45 p.m. when Altman and Harris 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 pitcher/utility player Mamie "Peanut" Johnson and outfielder Porter Reed (2012), 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 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, July 23 and continuing through Monday, July 29 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.

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