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Two Negro Leagues All-Stars to Talk at Juniata

(Posted April 9, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two former Negro League All-Stars, Jim Weedon and Willie Fordham, will make a presentation at Juniata College and share memories in the event \"The Souls of Black Baseball: History of the Negro Leagues\" at 7 p.m., Monday, April 16 in Sill Board Room in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus. The event is free and open to the public. The two former ballplayers are at Juniata as part of an oral history project compiled by Bob Allen, a Penn State University researcher and freelance writer. Allen has traveled throughout the northeast states with the goal of interviewing every surviving player from the Negro Leagues. Allen has collected more than 350 hours of film footage and recorded memories from a variety of former players. The Negro Leagues were formed in the early part of the 20th century to showcase the talents of African-American baseball players. The major leagues banned black players from playing until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pennsylvania has a rich history intertwined with the Negro leagues. One of the powerhouse teams in the history of the league, the Homestead Grays, were based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Such players as Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard played on the team. Weedon and Fordham both played on the Negro league team, the Harrisburg Giants. Willie Fordham, has self-published a memoir of his time in the baseball spotlight, \"I Gave it My Best Shot,\" which is available at the Juniata Bookstore.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.