The Milwaukee Brewers will host the franchise’s 12th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, presented by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Health Network, at Miller Park on Saturday, Aug. 12, when the team takes on the Cincinnati Reds at 6:10 p.m.
The Brewers will honor the significance of the Negro Leagues and their impact on the game by donning Milwaukee Bears uniforms, the city’s 1923 Negro Leagues representative. The Reds will also honor the Negro Leagues by wearing uniforms from the Cincinnati Tigers, who played in the Queen City from 1934 to '37.
At this game, the Brewers will honor former players Reggie Howard and Don "Rook" Porter during a tailgate reception at Helfaer Field, beginning at noon, along with a special pre-game ceremony at Miller Park. In honor of the event, Brewers Community Foundation will make a donation to both the Negro Leagues Museum and Yesterday’s Negro League Baseball Players Foundation. In addition, an autograph session with both honorees will take place during the first 45 minutes of the game on the Field Level Concourse near home plate.
Reggie Howard played second base for the Indianapolis Clowns during the 1956-57 seasons. He was originally introduced to the game by his family and inspired by his uncle who played outfield for the Memphis Red Sox. As a child, Howard worked as a batboy in the Negro Leagues. He attended South Bend Central High School, where John Wooden coached before moving on to UCLA. Howard currently resides in Memphis.
Don "Rook" Porter pitched and roamed the outfield in his short career in the Negro Leagues. He played for both the New York Black Yankees as well as the Indianapolis Clowns. Porter began his career at age 16 with the Black Yankees, where he earned the nickname "Rook" as the team’s youngest player. He joined the military after leaving the Negro Leagues and continued to play at Ft. Hood, TX and Ulm, Germany. Porter currently resides in Roseville, Cal.
On Sunday, August 13, Howard and Porter will be inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame at the Mother Kathryn Daniels Center (MKDC) located at 3500 W. Mother Daniels Way on the grounds of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Church (COGIC), beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Brewers are once again partnering with the MKDC and the Church as a sponsor of the annual induction ceremonies and other initiatives. This event is open to the public.
In previous years, the Brewers honored pitcher/outfielder Roosevelt Jackson, catcher Ray Knox and shortstop William McCrary (2016); pitcher Gilbert Hernandez Black and catcher/third baseman James Beckum (2015); pitcher/outfielder Ted Toles Jr. and outfielder Nathan "Sonny" Weston (2014); outfielders George Altman and Lonnie Harris (2013); pitcher/utility player Mamie "Peanut" Johnson and outfielder Porter Reed (2012); pitchers Charlie "Whip" Davis and Johnny Washington (2011); pitcher Ollie Brantley and first baseman/outfielder Clinton "Butch" McCord (2010); infielder Harold "Buster" Hair Jr. and catcher James "Jim P" Tillman Sr. (2009); pitcher Eugene ‘Dick’ Scruggs and first baseman James ‘Red’ Moore (2008); and outfielder W. James ‘Jim’ Cobbin and catcher Arthur Hamilton (2007) as they were inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame. During the Brewers’ first Negro Leagues Tribute in 2006, Buck O’Neil, James Sanders and Dennis Biddle were each honored.
The Milwaukee Bears, the city’s 1923 representative in the Negro National League, played only one season before disbanding, but featured some of the game’s most influential men, including Hall-of-Fame player/manager John Preston "Pete" Hill.
Fans will be able to purchase Milwaukee Bears merchandise prior to the game at Helfaer field. In addition, jerseys and caps worn by the Brewers players and coaches will be authenticated through Major League Baseball’s Authentication Program and will be available for fans to purchase prior to the day of the game. Jerseys and caps that are not pre-sold will be available for purchase through the Brewers Authentics Department, at the Brewers Authentics Kiosk (located behind Section 109 on game days), or the Brewers Charity Auction scheduled for a later date (Brewers.com/auctions).
Fans interested in purchasing or learning more about pricing and sizing information of jerseys and caps available are encouraged to contact the Brewers Authentics Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (414) 902-4609.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.