Negro League Game Unravels Baseball History and Culture or Durkeeville

Shown  is Sean Gibson, the great Grandson of Josh Gibson throwing out the first pitch to kick off the nights.

By K. Harrison – The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp hosted hundreds of baseball fans for Negro League Baseball night as the team honored the Jacksonville Red Caps. The Shrimps faced off against the Indianapolis Indians as both teams wore Negro League team uniforms in honor of the beloved fan favorite. The Jumbo Shrimps wore the uniforms of the Jacksonville Red Caps uniforms, and the Indians wore Indianapolis Clowns uniform.

Throughout the game, fans were educated about local and national Negro League Baseball history. From 1938 until 1942 the Red Caps played their home games at Durkee Field on Myrtle Avenue. Before the game began, Sean Gibson, the great Grandson of Josh Gibson threw out the first pitch to kick off the nights games and activities. Heralded Jacksonville Negro American League Red Caps baseball catcher Josh Gibson led the Red Caps with seven league wins, until they moved to Cleveland in 1939 and returned to Jacksonville in 1941. The Jacksonville Red Caps is the first Negro League team that became home to Negro League legends like Charles “Lefty” Boone, Howard “Duke” Cleveland, and others. Also showcased was Edward Water University alum and Hall of Famer Buck O’Neil. Born in Florida, O’Neil moved to Jacksonville as a youth and attended Edward Waters College for two years. As a first baseman and manager for the Negro American League executive offices, O’Neil played most of his career with the Kansas City Monarchs.

The Jumbo Shrimps had an early jump on Indianapolis early in the game. As the game progressed, Indianapolis climbed back and had an offensive explosion,  taking the lead for the rest of the game as Jumbo Shrimp fell short against Indianapolis and split the six-game series.  The Jumbo Shrimps’ next home game in June will be the second meeting against The Nashville Sounds, held from June 25th to the 30th.

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