1st Annual Dedication Ceremony for the Negro National Baseball League Walk of Fame
On Saturday August 4, 2012 The Camden Walk of Fame Commitee will honor four Hall of Fame members during a formal ceremony in front of the main gates at 4pm.
On Saturday August 4, 2012 at Campbell’s Field, the Camden Walk of Fame Committee will honor Pete “Golden” Sunkett, Sr. (Philadelphia Stars), Willie Wynn (Newark Eagles, New York Cubans), Floyd Darden (Baltimore Elite Giants) and John Banks, Sr. (Philadelphia Stars) during a formal ceremony in front of the main gate. The ceremony will take place at approximately 4:00 p.m. and will include the Mayor of Camden, Dana Redd, representatives from the Camden County Board of Freeholders, Camden City Council, family members of the honorees and a host of friends and community representatives.
This year’s dedication ceremony is the first annual. A bronze inlay will be mounted in the sidewalk outside of the stadium with the names of each Negro League Player being honored inscribed on it. Following the ceremony the grandson of John Banks will throw out the first pitch to start the evening’s game between the Camden Riversharks and the Sugar Land Skeeters. The game begins at 5:35 p.m.
The first successful organized Negro League was established on February 13, 1920, at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. Andrew “Rube” Foster, known as “the father of Black baseball,” was the driving force behind organizing this league and served as its first president. The Negro National League (NNL) operated successfully with teams in the South and Midwest until 1931.
Three years after the founding of the NNL, the Eastern Colored League (ECL) was formed on December 16, 1923 by Edward H. Bolden serving as chairman. In 1924 the very first Negro World Series was played between the ECL and the NNL champions. The ECL collapsed in the Spring of 1928 and the teams reemerged in 1929 as the American Negro League and later becoming the Negro American League (NAL). The NNL and NAL coexisted and competed in eleven Negro World Series. The Negro American League operated as the last Black major league through 1960 and annually attracted between 20,000 and 50,000 fans.
The founding members of the Camden Walk of Fame Committee are Yocontalie “Connie” Jackson, Rev. Chris Collins, The Keene Family and Victor Carstarphen. Special thanks to the following sponsors; Joseph Jingoli & Sons, Bravo Health, Jackson Associates Group, Anointed News Journal, Senior Advocacy Outreach Program, F.E.H. Global Development and the Camden Riversharks.
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