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February 26, 2012

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Bill Ranier

Excellent article. I am contributing a chapter on Greenlee Field for a book myself and a group of co-authors are doing about Pittsburgh firsts. Your article sent me on a mission rather than just accepting that Greenlee Field was truly the first ballpark owned and constructed by African Americans. Is there anything else you've discovered since this was originally posted? It looks like Dr. Williams passed away last spring, but Karen Galle with the PA historical society is looking to see if she can find any further information. Off the top of her head, she told me that Senator Alan Simpson had pushed for the Greenlee marker in 1996, before she her time with the historcial society, but the only Senator Alan Simpson I could find was from Wyoming and I didn't see any specific connection to Pittsburgh in his bio. At the time, she believes the submission lacked sufficient documentation and no funding and it wasn't until Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh agreed to financially support the effort that it was approved. She recalled Dr. Williams'claim and that it was rejected, but said she would have to look more closely into the reason as she could not immediately recall it.

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