Negro League players mentor kids at Tigers luncheon

By Jamie Edmonds - Reporter

DETROIT - Ron Teasley is a Detroit native who was drafted into the big leagues before he was eventually released.

He later went on to play in the Negro League for the New York Cubans. On, Friday Teasley joined former Detroit Tigers coaches and players to talk to about 150 high school baseball players in the Tiger Club at Comerica Park as part of a Legacy Luncheon.

"I wish I had something like this when I was in high school," said Fox Sports Detroit Analyst and former Tigers player Rod Allen. "This is chance to hear from people who played the game, coached it and worked in the front office to give these guys hope."

The point of the luncheon was to mentor these young players and also to educate them on the legacy of African Americans in the sport. The best way to do that was for those on the panel to speak from experience. That is exactly what they did.

It seems, the luncheon was a home run with the kids.

"The past is important to remember so you know where you came from and where you've been," said Dominick White, a 17-year-old from Cass Tech High School.

"Because of these people [talking to us today], it made it possible for African Americans to play the game today and in the future," said Kendall Smith, a 17-year-old from Renaissance High School.

The Legacy Luncheon was part of the Tigers' annual Negro Leagues weekend. On Saturday, the Tigers and the Rangers will wear throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Ft. Worth Texas Black Panthers. They also will honor some Negro League players at the game.

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