Born on June 30, 1918 in Meridian, Mississippi, William “Willie” Grace spent eight of his nine years in Negro League baseball (1942 – 1950) with the Cleveland Buckeye organization. The 6 foot, 170 pound light-hitting outfielder played on the 1945 and 1947 Buckeye teams that won the Negro American League (NAL) pennant. In 1945, he hit .313 to help the Buckeyes beat the heavily favored Homestead Grays for the Negro League World Series Championship. He hit .245 in Cleveland’s 1947 Series lost to the New York Cubans. Grace also played in both 1946 Negro League East West All Star Games getting four hits in eight at bats.The New York Giants had him in their minor league system for one year, 1950, but Willie Grace never made it to the Major Leagues like his former Cleveland Buckeye outfield teammates Sam Jethroe and Al Smith.