PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A gala was held in downtown Pittsburgh to honor the Negro Leagues and a man who is keeping their memory alive Saturday night.
The Josh Gibson Centennial Negro League Celebration was held at the Wyndham Hotel.
Gibson is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. However, like many of the African-American greats from his day, he was relegated to the Negro Leagues.
Franco Harris chaired Saturday’s event and said it is important to honor the history.
“This is a time for us to reflect and to remember and to really pass on the great baseball and feats and challenges that these players had during that time,” Harris said.
As unbelievable as it may sound, many of the Negro League players are buried in unmarked graves.
Gibson’s grave went without a headstone for 30 years.
Now, a doctor from Illinois has formed a group to identify those graves and mark them.
Dr. Jeremy Krock was honored for those efforts during Saturday’s festivities.
“We know there are a lot of Negro League baseball players buried here and we know there are a lot that we don’t know about as well,” Dr. Krock said.
So far, they’ve provided markers for more than 20 players and their work continues.
Former New York Yankees great Reggie Jackson was also honored Saturday night.