Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Born on September 3, 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia; William “Bill” Greason was a right handed pitcher for the Negro American League Birmingham Black Barons (1947 – 1951).  At 5’ 10’’ and weighing 170 pounds, he helped the team win the pennant in 1948 and was the winning pitcher in their only victory against the Homestead Grays in that year’s Negro League World Series.  Greason also pitched three scoreless innings in the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star game in 1948.

After the 1951 season, Greason had some success in minor league baseball.  He was the third African-American to play in the Texas League.  In 1954, Greason along with Brooks Lawrence and Tom Alston were the first African-American players invited to a spring training camp by the St. Louis Cardinals.   On May 31 of that year, Greason made his Major League debut, at 29 years old.  However, within less than a month, he was sent back to the minor leagues for the remainder of his career.  His final Major League career statistics; he pitched in three games, giving up eight hits and striking out 2 in four innings with a record of 0-1.

Greason retired in 1959 and was called into Christian ministry.  He was pastor of a church in Birmingham, Alabama for 30 years and was cited by the Alabama State Legislature in 2001 for outstanding ministry achievement.

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