Black History Month: CK’s Athletes and Teams
A few years ago, CKSN ran a series of Black History Month articles honouring Chatham-Kent’s historical black athletes and teams. Here’s a link to each of those articls.
Fergie Jenkins: A Baseball Legend – One of Chatham-Kent’s most renowned athletes, period, Fergie Jenkins is a Baseball Hall of Famer, three-time MLB All-Star, Cy Young winner, and Lou Marsh winner. It’s hard to talk about black athletes from Chatham-Kent, without honing in on the incredible Fergie Jenkins.
1934 Colored Baseball Team – They were champions, and trail blazers. The 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars surprised everyone, and won the hearts of Chatham-Kent baseball fans as they became the first ever team from Chatham to win a Provincial baseball championship.
Eddie Wright Hits The Ice – Eddie Wright, who was the first black player to suit up for the Chatham Jr Maroons, and was among the team’s top scorers from 1962-1965, is a CK hockey legend. Wright later advanced to play NCAA hockey for Boston University, before coaching and working in the NCAA and NHL.
Earl “Flat” Chase: The home run king – Almost no one hit the ball as far as Earl “Flat” Chase. Holding many home run records in Southwestern Ontario, Chase helped the Chatham win multiple OBA titles, won an Amateur World’s Baseball Championship, and is a member of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame.
Chatham Giants: For the love of the game – A predominantly black baseball team in Chatham during the 1920s, the Giants were hard to beat. While much is unknown about these Giants of the diamond, they are an integral part of black history in sports in Chatham-Kent.
Wilfred Harding: Multi-Sport Talent – Wilfred Harding was one of Chatham-Kent’s most well rounded athletes. Starring for the Chatham Colored All-Stars baseball team, for several local hockey teams, and on the track, Harding faced prejudice, but was able to earn the respect and admiration of athletes, coaches and fans.