A Baseball & Civil Rights Reunion

Racial segregation dominated the South in 1955, but a group of Little League baseball players from Pensacola and Orlando stepped onto a Central Florida field that summer in an act that changed not only the way that sports are played but supported a powerful transformation in the very fabric of our community.

On April 10th, 2018, the City of Orlando and the Haddock Family Foundation invited a group of Orlando leaders to celebrate the first racially integrated Little League baseball game in the Deep South, and Vicki and I were honored to attend.  The event took place at Lake Lorna Doone Park at and 20 members of the TFA Varsity Baseball Team attended.

There is also a new documentary film, Long Time Coming, that tells this remarkable story. The film features the captains of both Little League Teams, Will Preyer (Pensacola) and Stewart Hall (Orlando) and has been endorsed by Major League Baseball Hall of Famers, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken, Jr., and Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer. You can learn more about the film by visiting the Long Time Coming website.

Long Time Coming , the newly released documentary, tells the players story from 1955 and also their personal journeys from the game in 1955 until today. The film is great for middle schoolers through adults and engages questions of race in America with the underlying theme of coming together. The film is premiered at the Florida Film Festival.