An Honored Guest at the Ball Park

June 16, 2012 3:10 pm0 commentsViews: 21
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William A. Elliott with Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro.

William A. Elliott with Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro.

I am really excited about something that happened on Friday, June 1st (2012).

My 101 year old Grandfather, William A. Elliott, had never been to a Phillies game in his life. In the early part of the 20th century, he wasn’t permitted to attend Major League baseball games, because of the color of his skin. He could only attend Negro League baseball games.

Fortunately, Philadelphia had a Negro League team called the Stars, in the 1930’s, and my Granddad attended as many games as he could. Granddad was, and still is, a HUGE baseball fan. In fact, every Sunday when I visit him in his assisted living facility, all we usually talk about is baseball and politics, both old and new.

I was surprised that he still remembered most of the player’s names on the 1930’s team. I got him a book about the Negro League, a map of the original Negro League teams on the East Coast, and a Philadelphia Stars championship T-shirt, all of which he cherishes.

I was so inspired by many of his baseball stories that I contacted Scott Palmer, Director of Public Affairs for the Philadelphia Phillies. Because of that contact, the Phillies made Granddad their honored guest on June 1st against the Marlins.

When I told Granddad about our upcoming visit to the ballpark, he was extremely excited and cried tears of joy for about 30 minutes. I didn’t want to surprise him with the news on the actual day of the event. (After all, he IS One Hundred and One!)

Citizens Bank Park. Park photo courtesy of Matt Wargo.

Citizens Bank Park. Park photo courtesy of Matt Wargo.

I love and honor my Granddad. He has truly been an inspiration to me, as well as to the rest of my family and friends. It’s also a blessing to have the opportunity to interact, face-to-face, with a living history book.

June 1st was a great day, not only because of the Phillies game—which they won—but because I got to share the day with William A. Elliott.

Peace and Blessings to All!

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