Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

January 18, 2013

Former Negro Leagues player to be feature in M.L. King Day parade

MOULTRIE —  Roosevelt Jackson, who played baseball in the Negro Leagues for a number of years, will come to Moultrie to ride in the Doerun Elementary School’s float in the Dr. Martin Luther King Day parade to be held next Monday.

Jackson, who is 95, lives in Buena Vista, which, coincidentally is the birthplace of Josh Gibson, the Negro Leagues slugger who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Originally from Gay, Ga., Jackson grew up in south Florida and played baseball for the Miami Globetrotters, the Hollywood Redbirds, the Fort Lauderdale Braves and other teams.

The grandson of slaves, he is considered the oldest living former player, manager and scout from the era before baseball was integrated in 1947.

Jackson was placed in the Negro League Hall of Fame by the Committee for the Center for Negro League Baseball Research in Birmingham, Ala., in a ceremony hosted by the Museum of Negro League Baseball and the Southern League Baseball History in 2010.

He also has had a U.S. Postage stamp in his honor.

Jackson was born in 1917 in Georgia, but moved with his family to Homestead, Fla., when was he was a boy. As a youngster, he watched his uncle and brother play and decided he liked the game.

“It was something to impress the girls,” he said.

He helped sharpen his batting eye by hitting bottle caps with broom handles under dim street lights.

“And I got pretty good at it,” he said. “I had a pretty good eye. I usually batted leadoff.”

When Jackson got his start in professional baseball, blacks did not play in the minor or major leagues.

Starting out as a second baseman, he used his speed so often to venture into the outfield to get fly balls, that he eventually moved to center field.

“They used to call me Rabbit,” he said. “I could run down balls in all the fields.”

When he started playing baseball in the 1930s, the game was much different from what it is today.

The main difference is that blacks played in their own leagues.

And that what Jackson did, playing for a number of teams in South Florida.

He remembers watching the Boston Braves in spring training one year and thinking he had better speed than some of the major league outfielders.

Jackson said he was playing for a semipro team when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Jackson later was hired as a scout by the Philadephia Phillies.

Jackson moved back to Georgia a number of years ago and decided he wanted to farm in Buena Vista, which is about 45 miles from where he was born and where “Josh Gibson” is painted in big letters on the water tower.

And he has become friends with Gibson’s great-grandson and also became acquainted with a fellow in nearby Plains: former President Jimmy Carter.

That eyesight that helped him at the plate those many years ago playing in Negro leagues in south Florida is failing.

But Jackson doesn’t complain and said longevity is in family, noting that his father and grandfather each lived to be over 100.

And he says he is looking forward to coming to Moultrie to be in the annual parade.

“I just thank God,” he says. “Everything seems to be going good.”

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Colquitt County boys win region soccer championship (UPDATED)

    The Colquitt County boys soccer team won three straight region championships from 1997-1999, but had not had one since then before Wednesday’s 1-0 victory at Coffee broke the 14-year drought.

    April 23, 2014

  • Colquitt boys soccer team wins region championship

    The Colquitt County boys soccer team won three straight region championships from 1997-1999, but had not had one since then until Wednesday’s 1-0 victory at Coffee broke the 14-year drought.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Boys tennis team wins state tournament opener

    The Colquitt County boys tennis team won its Class AAAAAA state tournament opener on Wednesday, knocking off Region 3 champion East Coweta 5-0 in Sharpsburg.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-24.BASEBALL SENIORS.jpg Colquitt County High baseball seniors

    The Colquitt County baseball team’s seniors, who were honored before Tuesday’s game against Thomas County Central, include, front, from left, Preston Berry, Jonah Bozeman, Daniel Mobley and Mack Hathcock; back, Gabe Mobley, Tony Simpson, Ross Goforth, Andy Bush, Ryan Chatman, Cole Bryant and Clayton Brown. The Packers finish the regular season with a game at Crisp County today.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colquitt County wins state tennis opener

    The Colquitt County boys tennis team traveled to Sharpsburg on Wednesday and won its first-round state tournament opener, defeating Region 3-AAAAAA champion East Coweta 5-0.

    The Packers, the No. 4 team from Region 1, will play the Kennesaw Mountain-Luella winner in the second round. That match is expected to be held on Monday.

    Check back for details.

     

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23.SOCCER SENIORS.jpg Soccer seniors

    The Colquitt County boys and girls soccer teams’ seniors were honored on Monday between the games against Lowndes at Packer Park. They are, front, from left, Alex Balderas, Haley Bautista, Leslie Aguilar, Raley Wallace, Abbi Beth Paulk, Carlos Martinez and Eric Gould; middle, Brian Vidales, Manuel Vasquez, Richard Garcia, Fernando Miranda, Marcus Lopez, Will Pitts and Maca Aguilera; back, Francisco Gomez, Gio Martin, Luis Padilla, Matt Moody, Josh Smith and Jay Tolbert.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greene, 4x100 team get region track wins

    Marquan Greene won the 200 meters and the 4x100-meter relay team also took first place to lead the Colquitt County boys to a fifth-place finish at the Region 1-AAAAAA track meet held recently in Tifton.
     

    April 22, 2014

  • Alderman Realty gets Tiny Mite victory

     Alderman Realty edged Chick-fil-A 13-12 on Monday in a Tiny Mite girls softball game.
     

    April 22, 2014

  • Hutchinson-Traylor holds off Davis Insurance

    After taking a 5-0 lead after its first three at bats, Hutchinson-Traylor had to hang on to defeat Davis Insurance 5-4 on Monday in a Midget League game at the Magnolia Sports Complex.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23.NEEDMORE.jpg Sprint cars at Needmore

    This Saturday night Needmore Speedway will host the second round of a Southern Sprint Car Showdown as sprint cars from the ASCS, Carolina Sprint Car Series will challenge drivers from the Florida Sprint Car Series. This new partnership was formed between the two series to make racing more affordable as well as more exciting for race fans. The first event in the Showdown series will kick off Friday night at Oglethorpe Speedway in Pooler, then head to Needmore for Saturday’s event. According to Carolina series director Tom Baker, this new series will pit the Florida sprints with their 360 limited motors against the smaller 305 engines in the ASCS cars. But according to Baker, both develop about the same horsepower plus the Oglethorpe track is totally different than Needmore’s 3/8s mile surface. Fans can expect to see top drivers from each series in action this Saturday night including Johnny Petrozelle, Shawn Mott and Tim Perry of the Carolina series as they take on Florida's best. Baker said ‘these drivers don't care what series label it is or what motor is in the car, these guys are the wildest, craziest drivers you'll see all year and they always put on a good show.’ Needmore's lineup this Saturday will also include Limited Late Models, Super Streets, Hobbys and Enduros. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.  

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
AP Video
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
weatherradar
Seasonal Content
Poll

Should abortion be legal for victims of rape?

No. That baby is alive, no matter how horrible its manner of conception.
Yes. It's wrong to force a woman to carry the child of her rapist.
Abortion is a private matter and should be legal for everyone.
     View Results