The Negro Leagues were formed in 1920 because Black players were being excluded from Major League Baseball. One hundred years later, four former United States presidents are literally tipping their caps to the league that produced so many all-time baseball greats.
Participating in the “Tip Your Cap” campaign, which was organized by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick and started two weeks ago, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on Monday shared their messages of support.
Today I’m tipping my hat to all the giants in the Negro Leagues, from Satchel Paige to Toni Stone and so many others. Their brave example, first set 100 years ago, changed America’s pastime for the better––opening it up for new generations of players and fans alike. pic.twitter.com/05jWocKs17
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 29, 2020
I am proud to join the #TipYourCap2020 campaign in honor of the centennial of the Negro Leagues and the talented men and women who played in them from 1920 through 1960. The Negro Leagues made baseball better and America better. pic.twitter.com/ToG1xOOLRr
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) June 29, 2020
“I’ve been a baseball fan all of my life, and the Negro Leagues are an important part of the sport’s history. … I tip my cap to the pioneers who showed the world that black players belong in America’s game.” — President Jimmy Carter. #tipyourcap2020 pic.twitter.com/2yaG84WBH4
— TipYourCap2020 (@TipYourCap2020) June 29, 2020
“That alone validates this project,” Kendrick said Monday of the former presidents’ participation (via MLB.com). “It many ways, it validates the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Naturally, we feel that is a coup. It’s the ultimate show of respect of what this museum represents, not only here in Kansas City, but to our nation.”
The “Tipping Your Cap” campaign’s site calls the participation of Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter “an unprecedented American salute for the men and women who were denied the chance to play in the Major Leagues because of the color of their skin but continued to strive and excel and play ball.”
Basketball legend Michael Jordan is among the celebrities who also have tipped their caps to acknowledge the 100-year anniversary of the formation of the Negro Leagues.