Tigers pay tribute to Negro Leagues

Tigers pay tribute to Negro Leagues

DETROIT -- To celebrate the 18th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game and Tenth Annual Negro Leagues Weekend, the Tigers invited several former players from different teams to be honored at Comerica Park.

On Saturday, as both the Tigers and Pirates donned the throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and Pittsburgh Crawfords, nine former players held a question and answer session on the concourse for fans prior to an on-field tribute.

They relived the days of their baseball careers, covering everything from how much their paychecks were -- most averaged $300 a month -- to the speed of their fastballs -- none of the pitchers said under 100 mph -- to their experiences with Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

Minnie Forbes once played third base for the Kansas City Monarchs and Grand Rapids Black Sox before she took over the Stars and became the third female owner in Negro Leagues' history. Forbes, who has been part of the festivities before, was excited Saturday.

"I'm just honored to be here today and to be able to be recognized with the Detroit Stars," said Forbes on stage in front of crowd of fans gathered before the game in Comerica Park. "The organization was founded in 1919 and to be represented in their honor, thank you."

Other players included Jake Sanders, Pedro Sierra, Bill Hill, Joe Douse, Ron Teasley, Alton King and Melvin Duncan. All shared their stories before taking turns throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.