‘The sport I love’

Well, we concluded are incredibly packed day Friday at the Northwest African-American Museum for a reception in Herb’s honor and to tour the organization’s fantastically researched and displayed exhibit, “Pitch Black: African American Baseball in Washington,” which was put together by the effervescent Chieko Phillips, the museum’s exhibition’s director.

I’ll write more about the trip to the NWAAM (hopefully) tomorrow — all of us are totally whupped by now — but for now I wanted to post this, because this might have been the absolute highlight of the day:

IMG_0440

OK, first of all, yes, I think that is indeed my dopey thumb in the top left-hand corner. My profuse apologies to the people in the photo and to amateur photographers everywhere.

But obviously seated in the middle is Herb Simpson, but on the left is Malcolm Prevo, a rising sophomore at Kennedy Catholic High School, and on the right is Betty (I hope I have this right) Lemlemayehu, a rising sophomore at Evergreen High School.

Malcolm and Betty are junior docents at the museum who composed poems in honor of Herb, and the pair of new generationers read their works aloud to the assembled crowd in the gallery. Both poems were extremely moving and quite, quite impressive, and congrats to both Betty and Malcolm.

After the two teens read their work, I got a moment to chat with them about meeting Herb Simpson, the man for whom they dedicated their writing. The question was especially striking for Malcolm, who himself is a baseball player for Kennedy Catholic. He’s a catcher, btw. The next Josh?

But here’s what Malcolm had to say about Herb:

“Just seeing him and knowing that he’s been through a lot and learning about him, it reminds me that he fought for what he believed in, and he deserves this [recognition]. Without people like him, I wouldn’t be able to play baseball, the sport I love, like he did.”

I think I’ll just leave it at that. 🙂

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