On Sunday, August 27th, the Somerset Patriots paid tribute to the historic Negro Leagues by playing as the New York Black Yankees. This marked the first game of an annual tradition that holds great significance in American baseball history.
The Negro Leagues, established in the early 20th century, were vital in breaking down racial barriers in sports. These leagues provided African-American players with a platform to showcase their immense talent when Major League Baseball remained segregated. Legends like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and Joe Black, a native of Plainfield, who became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game, rose to fame through the Negro Leagues, making an indelible mark on the game.
During this inaugural game, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp had the honor of throwing the first pitch, symbolizing the beginning of a wonderful tradition. It's a testament to the progress made in baseball's history and a recognition of the enduring legacy of those who paved the way for diversity and inclusion in the sport.
We welcomed all to join us with their families for an exhilarating day at the ballpark, celebrating the rich heritage and cultural significance of the Negro Leagues. Tickets were available for purchase before they sold out, and we were thrilled to have everyone be a part of this memorable event