Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 22

COURTESY NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM

ATLANTA'S

FIELD OF DREAMS

Remembering the Atlanta Black Crackers of Negro League baseball
By Jonathan Shipley

22

Georgia Magazine

Preserving the stories
One of those players was James " Red " Moore, who lived
a couple of streets away from the practice field. Moore was
acclaimed as an outstanding defensive first baseman and was the
last living member of the Atlanta Black Crackers until his death in
2016 at age 99.
" Red Moore was an outstanding first baseman. He was
special. A showman, " says Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro
Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. " [Negro Leagues
first baseman and manager and founder of the museum] Buck
O'Neil says he was one of the greatest first basemen ever. And if
Buck O'Neil says that, well ... "
Moore's friend Greg White wants to make sure the memory of
Moore and others like him is not lost.
" The history is so important to keep alive, " says White,
director of Decatur Active Living, a division of the city of Decatur
that is dedicated to providing leisure and support services.
White was instrumental in putting up a historical sign at the
practice field and creating a " Red " Moore museum at Springfield
Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Moore was a
member for decades. " Mr. Moore had major league talent but
did not get a fair opportunity [because professional baseball was

April 2021

22-24_Alanta's_Black_Crackers_B_0421.indd 22

3/12/21 12:03 PM

COURTESY GREGORY WHITE / JAMES " RED " MOORE COLLECTION

T

here are seeds planted. It doesn't look like much,
but there are seeds planted in a little community
garden. On one side of the garden there's a dingy
shed. There are some rows of dirt, half weedchoked. There are some hardscrabble trees and
lopsided shrubs, with a rusting, bent, chain-link fence keeping
it all in. Across the dead-end street from the garden are old
houses and quiet driveways. But not all of the seeds nurtured
in the Bush Mountain neighborhood of Southwest Atlanta were
planted recently; some have been growing for decades.
Decades, because the seeds of dreams were planted
here-the old location of the practice field for the Atlanta
Black Crackers of the Negro Leagues-in the first half of the
20th century by young black men. The echoes of those dreams
still resonate on this nondescript city block. Can you hear the
cheers, the laughter and the talk of future glory? Do you hear the
ball hitting a mitt and the crack of a bat? The children squealing
as they run past the fence to collect a home run ball?
Whether they achieved fame or not, the Atlanta Black
Crackers players were simply enjoying baseball, as were the boys
who looked up to them and played in their own front yards and
empty lots.



Georgia Magazine - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2021

Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 4
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 5
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 6
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 7
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 8
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 9
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 10
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 24
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 25
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 26
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 27
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 28
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Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - 38
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - April 2021 - Cover4
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