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.”


Text Only
Local Sports
  • RAMSEY PICCOCK WINNERS.jpg Redding, Blanton win Ramsey Pidcock Invitational

    Andy Blanton tapped in a 6-inch birdie putt on No. 17 to take the lead and he and John Lee Redding parred No. 18 to hold it and win the 60th Ramsey Pidcock Invitational on Sunday at Sunset Country Club.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packers, other south Georgia teams out to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.

    July 26, 2014

  • Blanton, Redding lead Ramsey Pidcock

    Andy Blanton and John Lee Redding shot a 65 on Saturday to take the first-day lead in the 60th Ramsey Pidcock Invitational at Sunset Country Club.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-27.COLQUITT COUNTY RED.jpg 10-and-under Red all-stars

    The Colquitt County 10-and-under Red all-stars, shown with their second-place trophy from a tournament in Waycross, also competed in the GRPA Mite Machine Pitch state tournament in Statesboro. The team included, front, from left, Caleb Hannah, Mitchell Wingate, Jake Tucker, Tucker Sparkman and Cam Cook; middle, Mason Bass, Jar'Dae Williams, Thomas Webb, Zy McClendon, Kale Hopper and Chaz Odom; back, coaches Chad Bass, Don Price, Joey Tucker and Kevin Hopper. Not shown, coach Freddie Williams.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pack plays well in summer, but mourns Terry

     It has been a bittersweet summer for the Colquitt County boys basketball team.

    July 26, 2014

  • Packers continue to work toward Aug. 23 opener

     After giving his team several days off following the OTAs with Coffee that ended on Friday, July 18, Colquitt County coach Rush Propst was not pleased with the shape his team was in when it reported back to work on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Hampton commits to play at Central Florida

    Citing a desire to play closer to home, Colquitt County defensive end/linebacker Quintin Hampton has committed to play his collegiate football at the University of Central Florida.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-24.10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg World Series Champions

    The Diamond Kings recently competed and won the USSSA 10U Global World Series held July 8-12 in Destin, Fla.  This team includes players from all over south Georgia, including Moultrie. The team competed with 19 other teams from across the country and finished 7-1. The Diamond Kings entered bracket play as the No. 3 seed after a 3-1 record in pool play. They won bracket play games over the North Channel Noles (Houston, Texas) 9-1; the Houston Bengals South (Houston, Texas) 7-0; and the Young Guns (Cookeville, Tenn,) 8-7. Those wins set up a championship game showdown versus a strong, 10U Major, Crieve Hall M.A.D. Mavericks team from Nashville, Tenn. In a back-and-forth battle, the Diamond Kings prevailed with an 11-10 come-from-behind victory. DKSA Elite 10U plays out of DK Sports Academy in Thomasville. The team includes, front, bat boy Davis Lightsey; second row, from left, Hayes Lightsey, Davis Green, J.D. Smith, Jake O'Steen and Jaxson Haire, third row, Mark LeSuer, Witt Wetherington, Parker Mirick, Cam Wilbourn, Josh McCaskill and Will Prince; back, coaches Roger Wilbourn, Marc LeSuer, J.J. Jones, Matt McCaskill and Britt Wetherington.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-18.CHASE PARRISH.jpg Pack to begin week of 'acclimatization' on Friday

    After taking a break following last week’s three-day organized team activities session with Coffee High, the Colquitt County football team will be back in harness beginning today.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Erving named preseason All-ACC

    Former Colquitt County Packer Cameron Erving, now starting for the national champion Florida State football, has been named to the preseason All-ACC team.

    July 23, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the U.S. negotiate with groups it considers terrorists?

No. Never.
Generally no, but prisoner exchanges are an exception.
Negotiation will be required to end the conflicts we have with those groups.
     View Results