They never got a chance to live their dream.
They never even got a chance to eat in a restaurant.
Or use the public toilet.
Or drink at the same water fountain as a white man.
Now here they are — all these former Negro League baseball players — being revered by a sport that once repressed them. And on the same historic, euphoric week a black man became his party’s candidate for the president of the United States.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here, it’s finally here!” said Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, the first woman to ever pitch and win a game in a men’s professional baseball league.
She wasn’t just talking about Barack Obama’s march toward the White House, she was talking about the recognition she and her Negro League contemporaries received at Disney on Thursday when Major League Baseball, as part of its amateur draft, held a ceremonial Negro League player draft.