Congressman Cohen Passes Resolution Honoring Contributions of Negro League Baseball
Washington, DC -- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 162 which honors Negro baseball Leagues and their players. Congressman Steve Cohen, sponsor of the resolution, stated, "It is only proper to recognize those who contributed so much to the sport but who were not permitted to play in the major leagues because of racial discrimination. Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and many others were not just great players in the Negro Leagues but some of baseball's greatest players ever and their contributions helped break down racial barriers."
On March 31, 2007, AutoZone Park in Memphis will host the inaugural Civil Rights Game between the Cleveland Indians and the defending World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, in commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement. Congressman Cohen stated, "I am so proud that Memphis is hosting this historic event. Baseball was critical in bringing people together when our country was very divided and this event will recognize those players who gave so much of themselves to the sport."
Congressman Cohen, a lifelong baseball fan, encountered baseball player Minnie Minoso when Cohen was a child. Young Cohen, a polio victim using crutches, attended a baseball game where Minoso autographed a baseball and transmitted it to him via a white player. Cohen recalls, "It was a life-altering event. The fact that a grown black man did not feel he could hand a baseball directly to a white child because of racial discrimination has never left me, nor has the extreme kindness and compassion of Minnie Minoso who I will always consider one of my heroes."
Marilyn Dillihay, Press Secretary, (202) 225-3265