Baseball Fans Step Up to the Plate for Negro League Players

The Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project makes sure that those who paved the way for others rest in peace.

Satchel Paige (1942).

Baseball fans are breaking the color barrier in a different way. The Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project was launched seven years ago to ensure that the league's players would at least have a well-marked place to rest. Started by St. Louis Cardinals fan Dr. Jeremy Krock of Peoria, Ill., the project has provided grave markers for 19 Negro Leaguers to date. Members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) provide the bulk of the project's funding. On June 29, William "Big Bill" Gatewood received a proper headstone. The 6-foot-7-inch star pitcher, who served as a mentor to the great Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell, had rested in an unmarked Columbia, Mo., grave site since 1962. Sap Ivory, a first baseman for the Birmingham Black Barons in the late 1950s, will have a proper headstone laid on his grave.

Read more at AOL News.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.