T h e · S u p p o r t

Endorsements

Mr. Stanley Glenn, President of the Negro League Baseball Players Association and catcher for the Philadelphia Stars. Mr. Glenn entered the Negro Leagues in 1944 as the youngest player in the league at 17.

 

What People Are Saying!

“One of sports’ great ironies is that the Senatorsand Redskins, in a predominately black city, were among the last baseball and pro football teams to employ African Americans. [Remember the Grays’] effort to properly recognize the Grays would at least partially offset those old slights. Whatever form such an honor takes, it is long overdue.”
-Dick Heller, Washington Times Columnist, July, 31, 2004

 

“The Grays might have been the greatest team in cleats during the 1930s and '40s, though most Americans knew nothing about them. Barred from the major leagues because of their skin color, the Grays were embraced by two loyal fan bases, the original group in the Pittsburgh area and an even more rabid contingent in Washington…They created a sensation in the nation's capital, outdrawing the American League Senators and winning eight Negro League championships in a nine-year span.”
-Milan Simonich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 25, 2004

 

“Any recognition of the Grays is overdue.”
-Mayor Betty Esper, Mayor of Homestead, PA, former home of the Grays

“Washington offers baseball a chance to capitalize on its history and reach out to black fans who have turned away from the game in recent years. Christopher Rehling, an educator at the Close-Up Foundation in Alexandria, has launched a campaign at rememberthegrays.org pushing for our Expos to be renamed for the Homestead Grays, the Negro League team that often outdrew the Senators during the Grays' heyday in the 1940s.”

-Marc Fisher, Washington Post Columnist, July 18, 2004

 

"Naming the city's major league team after the Washington Homestead Grays, perennial Negro League champions, would be a fitting living memorial to the great black baseball team that once played here. In a city filled with monuments there is nothing to remind us that great black sluggers Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard packed Griffith Stadium and hit home runs at a pace unmatched by their white counterparts on the Washington Senators. Keeping the Gray's name alive is a fitting tribute to the city's forgotten baseball past. It also links the new team to a winning tradition."

-Brad Snyder, Author "Beyond the Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball"

 

“I don't write or lecture on sports. Although for some reason, I've always been interested in The Grays. And I think it has to do with what the team represented in Jim Crow-era Washington. On the field, the team personified an elegant excellence in every facet of the game. They ran like panthers, hit with the force of thunder, and fielded with the accuracy of cruise missiles. The Grays weren't merely a baseball team. To the folks in the stands, they were a redoubtable antidote to segregation. They represented the untapped potential that black folks knew burned within them if the nation's capital would only live up to its motto, ‘justice for all.’”

-C.R. Gibbs, Author “Black, Copper, & Bright: The District of Columbia's Black Civil War Regiment”

 

“The Homestead Grays were Washington's last pennant-winning baseball team. They were perennial champions in an era when the Newark Eagles starred Monte Irvin, Larry Doby and Don Newcombe and the Baltimore Elite Giants featured Joe Black and Roy Campanella. What more fitting manner than to commemorate this rich legacy than by bringing baseball back to the Nation's Capital- and naming the team the Grays.”

-Bijan C. Bayne, Author “Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball”

 

From Our Petition Signatures

“I live in Baltimore now, but grew up in Prince George's County. I have always loved Washington sports. The name Washington Grays would be perfect. The uniforms, if designed right, would be a hot commodity. The name has a great history. This community is looking, or more so starving for a baseball team of our own, that we can support. What better way to bridge this franchise to a great past franchise.”—Daniel Roane

“It would mean a great deal to me to show remembrance and respect to those who could not play the same game with there fellow white couterpart because of their color. I see this as a continous reminder to future generations: a child asking his father or mother about his favorite team, "Why are they called the Grays?"”—B.F. De La Rosa

“By naming the team the "Grays" people will examine the history of the name keeping the Negro Leagues in our pastimes memory” – Eric Tellez

“The Homestead Grays represented what is great about baseball, playing for the love of the game, despite the fact that Major League Baseball repeatedly ignored their talents due to the color of their skin. This should only be the start of how Major League Baseball can show their respect and acknowledge that there were great players and organizations. After that, they should recognize Josh Gibson as the greatest home run hitter ever, instead of acting as though he never existed. Major League Baseball, give the Negro Leagues the respect that you took away from them when they were around.”—Michael Meadows

“You can't name the team the Grays! You'll have to retire all of the numbers! Great idea!”—Bob Bukk

“Being from Pittsburgh, I've always been a student of the Negro Leagues, especially the Crawfords and the Grays. I've always thought that it was a shame that Kansas City did not take on the name "Monarchs" instead of the "close but no cigar" Royals. I think that naming the new team, The Grays would definitely be an important link to the third major league.”—Don Frizzi

“Grays were league champions 11 times 1930-1948 and world series champions 2 times out of 4 1942-1945. Obviously a legacy worth continuing. The dubious legacies of both incarnations of the Senators are safely entrusted to the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers anyway.”—Dan Lewis

“I was in favor of the name "Senators", but the "Grays" would be even better! It is historical and it acknowledges and pays tribute to the great players of the Negro League.”—Mark de Socio

“Spectacular idea! My grandfather would have loved this!”
—Michele Dallas Fields, Granddaughter of Former Gray Wilmer Fields

 

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