Before the Jaguars pre-season game versus the Cleveland Browns, players voiced the opportunity to visit the JP Smalls Museum. In each city the team visits, players make time to learn African American sports history.
The intimate private tour and walk-through of the JP Small Museum took place inside the baseball park location on Myrtle Avenue. The tour educated the football players on Jacksonville’s rich Negro League history. Guests welcomed the players and sat in the bleachers for a quick program that highlighted the fact that in 1916, the first Florida/Georgia game was played in the now known JP Smalls Park. According to the history books Dr. Jay Durkee, owner of the land, donated the property to the Jacksonville Baseball Association. Celebrated Negro league players Henry Aaron, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Roy Campanella, James “Cool Papa” Bell and William “Judy” Johnson passed through JP Smalls Park on their way to baseball’s “Hall of Fame”.