Second Annual Honorary Negro League Honored Elmer Carter

Second Annual Honorary Negro League Honored Elmer Carter


Second Annual Honorary Negro League Honored Elmer Carter

Kyrie Eberhart

Baseball fans were thrown back in time on Saturday with the Second Annual Honorary Negro League Game.

The game honored professional African American baseball players who played in the Negro National League, from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The event featured African American players from Sacramento State and in the Sacramento area reenacting how a baseball game was played in 1930. The players wore older style uniforms with former team names on the back. This year the game was played between the Oakland Larks and the San Francisco Sea Lions. The Larks won 5-3.

The event was coordinated, promoted and played by Dominic and Donte Morris, junior business majors. The brothers came up with the idea while in a multicultural class when they wanted to do something for Black History Month.

“We feel that it’s a game we love. This is our pastime,” Dominic said.

The event also be honored Elmer Carter, who played catcher and outfielder for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1931. He remembered being paid $12 a game. Carter says African Americans didn’t play for money, but because they wanted to.

“I loved playing, but I didn’t like it being played in a different league,” Carter said. “We didn’t have much to go on so we had to take what we could get.”

In the same year, a car accident broke his shoulder, making him unable to play. He remains the oldest living player from the Negro league, and received a plaque for this achievement.

For the Morris brothers, Carter’s attendance at the game was a great honor.

“It makes the game feel really meaningful having him there,” Donte said. “It’s like having Louis Armstrong at a Jazz Festival. It’s mind blowing.”

The players also enjoyed the event. LaVel Freeman, a former player for Milwaukee Brewers, played pitcher for the San Francisco Larks.

“It’s beautiful that these two brothers thought to get 30 black men to honor the Negro League,” Freeman said. “It’s good to get a younger generation embracing their history.”

Freeman said he would like to see the event grow even bigger.

For some, the event brought a chance to cheer for their players. Spectator Tony Simpson said when he found out about the game two weeks ago, he was not just excited because of his love for the game, but he got to watch his son and two nephews play in the event.

“I think it’s really great that something like this can be brought to Sacramento,” Simpson said. “You find a lot of African American boys start learning baseball when they’re young, and then turning to football or basketball when they get to high school level. As this grows I’d like to see it to make a greater impact on the younger community.”

For the Morris brothers, the event is a way to bring people together.