Page 7 - Florida Sentinel 12-11-20
P. 7

  National Negro League Player Celebrates 90th Birthday
 BY IRIS B. HOLTON Sentinel City Editor
December 9th, is a special day for a former Tampa resi- dent, Clifford “Quack” Brown. It was a special day because he turned 90-years- old.
Mr. Brown joined the Philadelphia Stars Negro League when they visited the south recruiting players. He is the last surviving member of the team.
Playing during the segrega- tion era, Black baseball players only played Black baseball players and were not allowed to check into motels. Being under-aged, Mr. Brown had to get his mother’s consent to play. He continued playing until 1956.
Not only has Mr. Brown been blessed with longevity, he is also a part of the Tampa Bay Area’s living history. Mr.
Brown is a former member of the Negro Baseball League.
“I’m happy that God has spared my life through the years, but I’m saddened that my fellow stars are not here to witness the 100th occasion of the Negro League.
“Fellow stars Billy Felder, Bernard Fernan- dez, N. D. Davis and my manager, to hear him say once again, “Quack can pick up the earth and throw out reindeers as a Short Stop.’ Manager Oscar Charleston, to name a few of my friends,” Mr. Brown said.
His recently acquired best friends are Neil Armstrong and Terry Griffin.
According to the Negro League Baseball Museum, Mr. Brown played for the team from 1949 to 1951. He served as a Short Stop and 2nd Base- man.
He has the distinction of
playing three games in one day in three different towns in Vir- ginia. On that day, he added three homeruns, the first in his career. And, his team won all three games.
A proud member of the Negro League, Mr. Brown and other members of the League were the trailblazers
who opened the doors for fu- ture players such as Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield, Derek Bell, Carl Everett, Vance Lovelace, and Floyd Youmans.
Mr. Brown served in the U. S. Army. After receiving an honorable discharge, he went to work for the Florida Port- land Cement Plant.
After 31 years with the company as a Track Mobile Operator, he retired. Mr. Brown also dedicated 10 years of his life as coach for the Belmont Heights Little League. His son, Clifford, Jr., was among those young men he coached.
Mr. Brown and his wife, Bettye, who is a retired beau- tician, have been married for nearly 70 years. In 1990, Mr. Brown, his wife, daughters, Linda Aldrich, Gail Greene, and Veronica Bor- ders, along with son, Cliff,
visited the celebration of the Negro League Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri. The historic event was held at the 18th & Vine District of Kansas.
At that time, there were 180 members of the teams and their families in attendance. Today, Mr. Brown is the last remaining member.
His close childhood friend, Billy Reed coached the base- ball team for several years. He passed a few years go.
Mr. Brown is the recipi- ent of numerous awards, com- mendations, and other honors. Those include: the Bill Duncan Opportunity Center Award; Florida House of Representa- tives Award; Hillsborough County Schools Award; City of Tampa Award; Tampa Rays Baseball Team Award; Tampa Sports Club Award; and the Young Lions Organization for Outstanding Service to the Black Community.

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