Negro Leaguers, Museum Honored In Chicago

By Gary Crawford
Updated: October 9, 2007

***image8*** CHICAGO — A very historical event took place on September 24th at William J. and Charles H. Mayo Elementary School, (located at 37th & Prairie) in the Windy City. Three former Negro League Baseball players were honored and inducted on this day to Chicagoland’ s first & only Legends.org (Baseball) Museum & Learning Center.

***image5** Mrs. Nadine Dillanado, principle of Mayo Elementary School invited me to install and permanently maintain the “Negro League Legends.org (Baseball) Museum & Learning Center” within their school.

We first met as a result of our participation with the inaugural Chicago Public School’s (CPS) “Teacher For A Day Program,” held May 15 2007.

That inaugural program came out of their highly successful, “Principle For A Day Program” which celebrates it’s 11th season on October 30.

WGN-TV then jumped on board and conducted no less than seven live “cut-ins” throughout their WGN Morning News program beginning at 7 am (CDT). At 8:40 am, emcee Darren Jackson (Chicago White Sox baseball announcer) then set the stage for the ribbon cutting. WBEZ (Chicago PBS Radio) and ABC-7 Chicago TV, were also there recording the event for broadcast.

Ms. Loreen Kudron, CEO of PoochieDogs.com, Mr. David Cook,CEO of Hoosier Bat, and some of the Negro League Honorees

Ms. Loreen Kudron, CEO of PoochieDogs.com, Mr. David Cook,CEO of Hoosier Bat, and some of the Negro League Honorees

Without Ms. Loreen Kudron, CEO of www.PoochieDogs.com, there would have been no program for the event. A program which was “gobbled up” like hotcakes!

Without Mr. David Cook, President of the Hoosier Bat Company there wouldn’t have been any baseball bats for this event, and without Mr. Randy Fike and Ms. Toni Schavocky of HealthSpring, and their generous contribution, there would have been no event. Period.

//<![CDATA[ u003cbr>Of the local and national dignitaries who were in attendance they included; State Representative Elga Jefferies (26th District), State Representative Ken Dunkin (5th District), Alderman Tony Preckwinkle (4th Ward) and newly elected Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward).n u003cbr>u003cbr>Monique Borgos, CPS Principal For A Day / Teacher For A Day, Project Manager was also there along with Calvin Davis of CPS.u003cbr>u003cbr>A representative from the Illinois Governor’s office presented us with a Proclamation declaring this day as, “Negro League u003ca hrefu003d”http://Legends.org” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>Legends.orgu003c/a> (Baseball) Museum & Learning Center Day.”u003cbr>u003cbr>Of those who were unable to attend but sent their support in writing include: baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Illinois Senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, State Senator (3rd District) Ms. Mattie Hunter, CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, Cynthia Greenleaf CPS Director of Partnerships, Illinois Secretary of the State Mr. Jesse White, Member of Congress Mr. Jesse Jackson Jr., Alderman of the 7th Ward Mrs. Sandi Jackson, CSI actor (Chicago native) William Peterson, Steve Coates – of the Coates Group (Houston, Texas) – a huge supporter of NegroLeagueLegends.org, and last but certainly not least, the Negro Leaguen Museum in Kansas City, MO.u003cbr>u003cbr>Along with HealthSpring, (who’s national spokesperson is Hall of Famer Willie Mays – a former Negro Leaguer himself) – the Hoosier Bat Company of Valparaiso Indiana, the Northern Illinois Hobby Retailers Association, the Coates Group, GeorgeShuba.com and PoochieDogs.com all jumped on board as sponsors.u003cbr>u003cbr>Keith Allen of the local McDonald’s at 207 East 35th Street even provided us with coffee, orange juice, cookies, apple pies, and a vast variety of hot breakfast sandwiches.u003cbr>u003cbr>In Chicagoan’s (CSI actor) William Peterson letter he said, “It is so exciting that the history of the National Negro Baseball League will be preserved. It is wonderful that the museum will be in Chicago and even better that it’s at Mayo Elementary School.”",1] ); //–> //]]> Of the local and national dignitaries who were in attendance they included; State Representative Elga Jefferies (26th District), State Representative Ken Dunkin (5th District), Alderman Tony Preckwinkle (4th Ward) and newly elected Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward).

Monique Borgos, CPS Principal For A Day / Teacher For A Day, Project Manager was also there along with Calvin Davis of CPS.

A representative from the Illinois Governor’s office presented us with a Proclamation declaring this day as, “Negro League Legends.org (Baseball) Museum & Learning Center Day.”

Of those who were unable to attend, but sent their support in writing include: baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Illinois senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, State Senator (3rd District) Ms. Mattie Hunter, CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, Cynthia Greenleaf CPS Director of Partnerships.

Also Illinois Secretary of the State Mr. Jesse White, Member of Congress Mr. Jesse Jackson Jr., Alderman of the 7th Ward Mrs. Sandi Jackson, CSI’s William Peterson (and Chicago native), Steve Coates of the Coates Group in Houston, and last but certainly not least, the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, MO.

HealthSpring, (whose national spokesperson is ex-Negro Leaguer and Hall of Famer Willie Mays), the Hoosier Bat Company of Valparaiso Indiana, the Northern Illinois Hobby Retailers Association, the Coates Group, GeorgeShuba.com and PoochieDogs.com all jumped on board as sponsors.

Keith Allen of the local McDonald’s at 207 East 35th Street even provided us with coffee, orange juice, cookies, apple pies, and a vast variety of hot breakfast sandwiches.

***image9*** In his letter, Peterson said, “It is so exciting that the history of the National Negro Baseball League will be preserved. It’s wonderful that the museum will be in Chicago and even better that it’s at Mayo Elementary School.”

//<![CDATA[ u003cbr>I couldn’t put it any better myself.u003cbr>u003cbr>u003cbr>Sincerelyu003cbr>”,1] ); D(["mb","u003cspan classu003dsg>u003cbr>Gary Crawford (312) 859-7788 u003ca hrefu003d"mailto:info@negroleaguelegends.org" targetu003d"_blank" onclicku003d"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">info@negroleaguelegends.orgu003c/a>u003cbr>u003c/span>",0] ); //–> //]]> I couldn’t put it any better myself.

All Photos In This Article Are Courtesy of WWW.NEGROLEAGUELEGENDS.ORG.