In February of 1992, representatives of the Negro Leagues Baseball Players Association (NLBPA) were invited to participate at a lecture and reception for Black History Month in the East Room of The White House. After being almost forgotten for thirty years after the Negro Leagues were completely absorbed by Major League Baseball, this presidential honor was particularly poignant. The 1990s began a popular resurgence of interest in the Negro Leagues and the surviving gentlemen who played professional black ball in the 30s, 40s and 50s were given star treatment at trading card and autograph shows, at special games in their honor by various Major League Baseball teams, and at two visits to the White House. To read more about the 1992 visit or to read about the 1994 visit, click on the links below. Scroll down to see photos of President George Bush with the players and with Dr. Bob and Zoh Hieronimus.
The Official NLBPA Newsletter of 5/30/92 describing the event
Click here for info on the 1994 visit
Photos of President Bush and the Negro Leagues White House Visit in 1992:
President Bush with Zoh and Dr. Bob Hieronimus at The White House, February 1992
President Bush and Negro League Baseball Great Josh Gibson, Jr. at The White House, February 1992
President Bush and Negro League Baseball Great Jimmie Crutchfield at The White House, February 1992
Dr. Bob Hieronimus and Negro League Baseball Great Monte Irvin (HOF) at The White House, February 1992
Zoh Hieronimus and Negro League Baseball Greats Jimmie Crutchfield, Josh Gibson, Jr. and Leon Day (HOF) at The White House, February 1992
PRESIDENT BUSH GREETS NLBPA MEMBERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
February 19, 1992--Representatives of the NLBPA were invited to participate at a lecture and reception for Black History Month in the East Room of The White House. With the words, "Let me single out as a fan, the representatives of the Negro League Baseball Players Association, over here." President George Bush recognized NLBPA President Monte Irvin, Jimmie Crutchfield, Leon Day and Josh Gibson, Jr. NLBPA co-founder Ed Schauder was also an invited guest, as were NLBPA boardmembers Dr. Bob and Zoh Hieronimus. In a room filled with dignitaries, such as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, Justice Clarence Thomas, Grammy winner Shirley Caesar, Dr. Maya Angelou and Dr. Benjamin Hooks, the NLBPA members were greeted warmly by all in attendance. Chairman Powell recalled that as a youngster growing up in the Bronx, he used to watch Monte Irvin as a member of the New York Giants. The East Room reception culminated an eventful day which featured meetings with NLBPA supporters Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Alan Dixon and Congressman Charles Rangel. "Just think of it! A coal miner's son meeting the President of the United States. My parents would've been so proud!" said an emotional Jimmie Crutchfield.