Seated from left to right: James Moore, Norman F. Lumpkin and Lawrence Williams. Standing from left to right: Brian Jordan, Rubye Mims Lucas and Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond
Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond on Monday honored baseball greats Norman F. “Geronimo” Lumpkin; James “Red” Moore and Lawrence “Larry” Williams on Monday at Atlanta City Hall. All honorees were members of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Due to segregation in American sports, teams within the Negro Leagues began to form in 1867. They fell apart gradually from 1947 to 1959.
In addition, Bond honored Rubye Mims Lucas, the wife of the late Bill Lucas, who was the first African-American general manager in Major League Baseball as a front-office boss; and two-sport great Brian Jordan for their contributions to the Atlanta community.
Norman Fred “Geronimo” Lumpkin was born on January 15, 1919 in Atlanta in a part of the Old
Fourth Ward section of the city known as Buttermilk Bottom. Lumpkin got his love of baseball playing in empty lots at school and played baseball in the Negro League from 1938 to 1949 on commercial and industrial teams and played semi-pro during World War II and was picked up by the Atlanta Black Crackers.
James “Red” Moore was born in Atlanta on November 18, 1916 and is recognized as one of the Negro Major League’s premier first basemen. He played for the Atlanta Black Crackers in 1935, 1938, and 1946-48. During Moore’s storied career, which was abbreviated by his military service, he played on three All-Star teams, three Second Half Championship teams and was selected to the 1938 Southern News Services All-American Negro League Baseball Team.
Lawrence “Larry” Williams was born February 9, 1933 in LaGrange. Williams was hired by Buck O’Neil as a lead of hitter for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1954. He once had a perfect night going four for four, with four doubles in one game. Williams has teamed up with Melvin Duncan and James Moore to educate the public about the Negro Leagues through panel discussions throughout the U.S.