The marker is here! The Steelies get their due! And other NOLA doings!

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It’s here! The Wesley Barrow grave marker has arrived. Pretty soon the picture above of the Skipper’s grave will include a stone remembering the man who oversaw black baseball in NOLA for decades.

The news comes from Gretna City Councilman Milton Crosby, who reports that the stone has indeed been delivered to Alfortish Marble and Granite in Gretna, and we’re working on getting it in the ground within a month or so. I’m trying to pull together a dedication ceremony, maybe for late April.

As such, anyone who’s in or will be in the New Orleans area around that time, y’all are welcome to attend. The more we have, the greater the testament to this wonderful, influential man. Also, if you want to help with anything along the way — getting the stone in the ground, scheduling/arranging the dedication ceremony, maybe even speaking at the event — feel free to contact me at rwhirty218@yahoo.com or by commenting on this blog. We’re getting close!

There’s some more local Negro Leagues-related news as well … earlier this week I heard from Felton Glapion, the late Herb Simpson’s nephew, that the Seattle Mariners will honor the entire West Coast Negro Baseball League Seattle Steelheads team from 1946, a squad that included the humble Mr. Simpson.

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I had that news confirmed by both Bob Simeone of the RBI Club and by Mariners exec Rebecca Hale. The event will be dubbed Turn Back the Clock night and is scheduled for May 16. Ms. Hale said details haven’t been worked out yet, but she’ll keep me posted.

Felton said he and other members of “Unc’s” family are planning on going. I would love to go, but I just don’t think timing and finances will allow it. But I’ll naturally be there in spirit, as will, I am sure, Herb and the rest of his Steelie teammates. Their legacy will live on forever in the Pacific Northwest.

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Finally, I’m working on a lot of research about Louisiana native and New Orleans University (now Dillard) grad Gentleman Dave Malarcher to follow up on this post I did last week. The resulting posts will largely be about his roots in St. James Parish, his family history, and the social, cultural and economic conditions from which he sprung. Hopefully I’ll get those posts up next week …

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