November 8, 2004
Nov. 8, 2004
by Bert Orlitzky, nlbpa.com webmaster.
Compiled from various news sources.
Willie Randolph named as new coach of the NY Mets.
Willie Randolph has left another mark in the history books... He has now become the first black manager to lead a Major League Baseball team in New York.
Randolph is a well known Negro League Baseball historian and is quite aware of his new place in history. He pointed out other historic names... Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, "Cool Papa" Bell. They are the men who came before him, players who were either denied a chance to play in the major leagues or helped integrate the sport. The ones, Randolph said, who made this week possible.
"If it wasn't for those forefathers who played the game with passion and a love for the game, I wouldn't be here," Randolph said. "I want to glorify them by going out and doing a good job."
Negro League veteran, Bob Scott joined Randolph's family for the press conference. He said Randolph frequently attended Negro League functions during his time as a Yankees coach, and he wanted to return the favor and give him support.
"I know what it means for him to get an opportunity to be a manager of a New York team," said Scott, who once played for the New York Black Yankees. "I think the Mets made the best choice they could ever make as a manager. This is an historic day."