The Lookouts will take on the Birmingham Black Barons during Negro League Appreciation Weekend at AT&T Field. It will make for an interesting piece of baseball history. Willie Mays played for the Choo-Choos in 1945 and 1946 at a time when the minor-league Negro League team had an affiliation with the Black Barons of the Negro American League; Mays graduated from the Choo-Choos to the Black Barons and manager Piper Davis in 1947. His did this while still in high school.
The series is sponsored by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in partnership with Food City and TVFCU.
“We are excited and incredibly thankful for Food City and TVFCU for their support of this historic weekend at AT&T Field,” said Paula Wilkes, President of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. “It is important to honor the incredible legacy of the Negro Leagues and be able to share their story with the Chattanooga community.”
On Negro League Appreciation Weekend, the Lookouts will wear Chattanooga Choo-Choos jerseys to honor the minor league Negro Southern League team that played at Engel Stadium from 1940-1946. The Barons will don the jerseys of the Birmingham Black Barons who were members of the inaugural Negro Southern League in 1920.
The two games between the Choo-Choos and the Black Barons will also feature appearances from former Negro League players including Alfonsa Holt, Sr., Reginald Howard, Russell “Crazy Legs” Patterson, Jimmy Tatum and Charles White. On each night the Negro League alumni will be honored in a pre-game ceremony and be available for autographs during the game.