PRESS RELEASE – The Whitecaps will welcome six former Negro League players and the former owner of the Detroit Stars to West Michigan on Wednesday, July 20, as we salute the African-American players who grew up playing America’s game, but were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues. The former players will be on hand to throw out a first pitch and sign autographs for fans in attendance!
The Whitecaps are honored to welcome:
Willie “Honey” Honicutt, 79,-second baseman and outfielder for the Detroit Stars and the Kansas City Monarchs.
Ray “Boo Boy” Knox, 77,-catcher for the Chicago American Giants in 1952 who also played in the old Chicago Industrial Leagues.
Hank “Baby” Presswood, 89,-infielder who played in 1950-1952 for legendary John “Buck” O’Neil with the Kansas City Monarchs (O’Neil went on to become the first African-American coach in the Major Leagues, with the Chicago Cubs in 1962). Presswood also played for the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1948 and 1949.
Johnny “Lefty” Washington, 81,-pitcher for Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe and the Chicago American Giants in 1949 and for the Houston / New Orleans Eagles in 1950. Washington served his country in Korea (Marines) where he earned two Purple Hearts.
Nathan “Sonny” Weston, 80,-outfielder who also played for Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe while with the Chicago American Giants. He was also the “last cut” on both the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.
Ray Richardson, 79,-played for both the Detroit Stars and the KC Monarchs as a catcher between 1954-1960.
Minnie Forbes,-The original owner of the Detroit Stars and niece of Ted Raspberry. Minnie also played one inning with the Kansas City Monarchs.