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Tribute to Negro Leagues Set for May 17

April 24, 2015

(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - On Sunday, May 17th at BB&T Ballpark, the Charlotte Knights will showcase the rich tradition of the Negro Leagues and welcome five former players, Negro League historians and a customized historical display featuring photos, artifacts, and more. The celebration follows the team's Jackie Robinson Day Tribute in 2014, which saw all Charlotte Knights players wear #42 in honor of Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947.

"We are very pleased to welcome five Negro League legends to BB&T Ballpark on May 17," said Knights COO Dan Rajkowski. "Having an opportunity to honor five important players who made a lasting impression on the game of baseball is very important to our organization. We look forward to sharing a special day in Uptown Charlotte with our fans."

Sunday's 2:05 p.m. game will feature five former Negro League players on-hand to meet and greet fans and sign autographs. The five former players who will take part in the team's Negro League Tribute Day are Eddie "G.G." Burton, Luther "Luke" Atkinson, James "B.D." Bland, Bill Cathcart, and Carl "Satch" Forney. Burton is a current resident of Charlotte and was honored during the team's Negro League Night last season. Bio information for all five former Negro League players attending the May 17th event can be found on page two and three of today's attached press release.

Ray Banks, a Negro Leagues historian, will bring his customized historical display from Baltimore for all fans to enjoy at the Sunday afternoon game. It features photographs, baseball gear and other artifacts that help tell the story of the period before baseball became completely racially integrated at the Major League level. 

Negro League ambassador Michael Turner Webb, a Charlotte resident, will also be on hand for Sunday's game. A 2013 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, Webb threw out the ceremonial first pitch at last year's Jackie Robinson Day Tribute at BB&T Ballpark. Webb has played a key role in putting together both Negro League events at BB&T Ballpark.

Gates are set to open at 1:00 p.m. for Sunday's game against the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals), which also includes another Sunbelt Family Sunday, presented by Sunbelt Rentals. After the matinee game, kids will have a chance to "Run the Bases", thanks to Academy Sports & Outdoors.

Single-game tickets for this game as well as all Charlotte Knights games this season are available by phone at 704-274-8282, in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office, or online at Uptown Knights Are Better Than Ever!