By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Newark Bears To Acknowledge African American Umpiring Pioneer
Jelks began his career in the minor leagues in the 1950′s, working in the Class D New York-Penn League and worked his way up to the Pacific Coast League, earning praise for his ability at every stop along the way.
While Emmett Ashford was the first black umpire to work a Major League Baseball game, Jelks was the only other African American umpire in organized baseball when Ashford worked his first game in the big leagues. Despite only being in his 30′s and just one step away from the major leagues at Triple-A in 1968, Jelks retired following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, after years of being overlooked by National League President Warren Giles.
The Bears will also welcome Pastor Ronald Slaughter and guests from the St. James AME Church in Newark, N.J. to Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium for the team’s final game.
Newark will take on the Worcester Tornadoes at 6:35 p.m. on September 3.