Black Hockey And Sports Hall Of Fame Advisory Committee Announces 2006 Baseball Inductees

By Tony McClean
Updated: July 2, 2006

NEW YORK — The Black Hockey And Sports Hall Of Fame Advisory Committee announced today six inductees to the Black Hockey And Sports Hall of Fame under the category of Baseball.

The six individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at this year’s inaugural Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Conference scheduled for August 25-27, 2006 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

This years baseball inductees are: Bud Fowler: Petrolia, Ontario, 1881 Contrary to popular belief, Jackie Robinson was not the first black player to compete in the Minor Leagues. That honor belongs to another fleet-footed second baseman — John “Bud” Fowler, an underappreciated baseball pioneer who was a product of an entirely different era. In a sprawling career that spanned from 1878 to 1904 (including stints in semi-pro leagues and barnstorming Negro teams), Fowler, by his own account, played on teams in 22 states and Canada.

Jackie Robinson: Montreal Royals, 1946 The man who integrated the modern day major leagues in 1947 made his minor league debut in Canada. In 1945, he played shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League. That summer, Rickey selected Robinson to integrate baseball. In 1946, Robinson, playing second baseman for the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ top farm team, batted an International League-leading .349 and stole 40 bases and led them to the Little World Series championship.

Clarence “Cito” Gaston: Toronto Blue Jays, 1989 A member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Gaston managed the Toronto Blue Jays to consecutive World Series titles (1992-93) and became the first black manager to win a World Series. A former outfielder for the Braves and Padres, Gaston also shared The Sporting News 1993 Man of Year award with Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick.

Ferguson Jenkins – Philadelphia Phillies, 1965 Over his 19-year career, the big hurler from Ontario proved to be a durable commodity, retiring with 267 complete games and 49 shutouts. He also holds the 9th-highest strikeout total in history (3,192) and was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1971. Jenkins is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Wilmer “Big Red” Fields: Brantford Red Sox, 1951 Fields was the ace of the Homestead Grays team which won the last Negro National League championship and was named to the East-West All-Star team in 1948. In 1952, he accepted a $14,000 offer to play for eventual Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke’s minor league team in Toronto. He hit .299 in the Triple-A International League and also played four seasons in the Canadian League, winning Most Valuable Player awards in 1951, 1954 and 1955.

Andre Dawson: Montreal Expos, 1977 Known as “The Hawk” most of his career, Dawson played 1443 games with the Expos, 4th highest in franchise history. As an Expo, Dawson set single-season club records for home runs (32, now 7th), RBI (113, now 4th), Extra Base Hits, (78, now 7th), and Sacrifice Flies (18, still 1st). He still holds the Expos’ career record for Sacrifice Flies (71), and is the only player to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases with Montreal.

Inductees into the Black Hockey And Sports Hall of Fame are selected following careful evaluation of the following: 1. Significant contributions by an individual, living or deceased, to the perpetuation of North American sporting excellence.

2. Outstanding career achievement.

3. Nominee projects the traditional sporting ideals of honesty, integrity and self-sufficiency in career and sporting endeavors.