Baseball is happening at Dunkin Donuts Park this Monday, Aug. 3. Mike Mont (World Series Club) sent along this message about the Twilight League games that will help honor Johnny Schoolboy Taylor, a man of color, and one of the best professional ballplayers in Hartford’s history.
I hope you are all doing well, staying safe and healthy, in this difficult time. I’m sure many of you are disappointed that you will not be able to visit our local Dunkin Donuts Park to cheer on the hometown Yard Goats this season, but here’s an interesting opportunity for a great cause that may be of some interest to you.
The Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League has made it a new tradition to play some games at Dunkin Donuts Park each summer to support many local great causes. In the past, they have donated the gate revenue for these games to Camp Courant, MS 4 MS, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. This year, the revenue from the games played will benefit something we all do at every meeting of the World Series Club, remember the past and celebrate the history of baseball.
In recent years, the GHTBL has made it their mission to acknowledge and pay tribute to Johnny “Schoolboy” Taylor, Hartford’s first professional black athlete. They have worked tirelessly, and successfully, to urge City Council members to rename Colt Park Public Field #9 after Johnny Taylor. This year, all of the money raised at the games will go towards the field renovations for the soon to be named Johnny “Schoolboy” Taylor Field. This will be an outstanding way to pay tribute to a man who many say is the best baseball player to come out of Connecticut.
Because of the fact that the games will raise money to help the new field, the city has offered free parking on Trumbull Street (across from the Main Entrance) for the games, which will be played this Monday, August 3rd. First game starts at 6pm, with the second game starting a half hour after its completion. One half of the stadium will be open for the first game, while the other half will be open for the second game, to allow for proper cleaning and distancing. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 each with no cost for those that are 14 years or younger. Masks are required for entry, but can be removed once seated.
Below is a link to a 2011 SABR article about Johnny Taylor. I encourage all of you to read up on the history of this great player and attend Monday night’s games, if you are able to and comfortable doing so. To show the importance of this cause and how much we support the GHTBL in their efforts, the World Series Club has agreed to donate $500 to help them get started. We hope to have many more in the stands so they can raise the money needed to get this field cleaned up. Please visit the GHTBL website ( www.ghtbl.org) for more info, and also check up on their social media accounts for more info and updates. See you at the park!
JOHNNY TAYLOR: HARTFORD’S FIRST PROFESSIONAL BLACK ATHLETE