Here is a link to the original story on the team's website.
LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts will honor incoming 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Bud Fowler with a bobblehead giveaway on a special Page Fence Giants Night on June 24 at Jackson® Field™, the Lugnuts announced today.
The tribute night, honoring Fowler and the dominant trailblazing 19th-century team he co-founded, is part of Minor League Baseball’s “The Nine,” a Black-community focused initiative that will celebrate the legacies of Black baseball pioneers throughout the upcoming season. The Lugnuts will wear the Page Fence Giants’ black and maroon uniforms, with the first 1,000 fans through the gates receiving a special Bud Fowler commemorative bobblehead, presented by Physicians Health Plan. LAFCU Fireworks will follow the game.
“Our connection with Bud Fowler and the Page Fence Giants began last year, when we learned their story as they were inducted into the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Lansing Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson. “Theirs is an important story to retell: a Black professional baseball team based out of Michigan that won an overwhelming number of the games they played. We are proud to continue to tell their story and join The Nine during the same summer that Bud Fowler rightfully takes his place in Cooperstown.”
“Celebrating the rich history of baseball in Michigan, especially when we honor players like Bud Fowler and the rest of the Page Fence Giants, is absolutely incredible. Lansing is proud to be the home of the Lugnuts, and even prouder to join with them for this great night of baseball. I look forward to seeing the Page Fence Giants’ uniforms in action at Jackson Field this season and saluting the memory of Bud Fowler,” stated Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.
Bud Fowler, born John W. Jackson, Jr., in 1858, was the first professional Black baseball player. He began his baseball career as a fine pitcher and catcher before turning to the infield after developing arm troubles. Wrote the Sporting Life, “With his splendid abilities he would long ago have been on some good club had his color been white instead of black. Those who know say there is no better second baseman in the country.” By the time he was done, Fowler had logged over 2,000 at-bats during a career lasting two decades. His final team in organized baseball was the 1895 Lansing Senators, with whom he batted .331 in 31 games.
In August of 1894, Fowler broke his leg in a game. He spent his rehabilitation time joining with young slugger Grant “Home Run” Johnson and a trio of white businessmen in Adrian to found the Page Fence Giants in September 1894. Sponsored by the Page Woven Wire Fence Company, the Giants traveled around the Midwest and Canada in their own private railroad car, winning over 100 games each year from 1895 through 1898. In their most famous moment, they convincingly defeated the Cuban X-Giants in 1896 in a series that was promoted as determining the best Black baseball team of the era.
The Lugnuts will open 2022 on Wednesday, April 6, playing the Michigan State Spartans in the Crosstown Showdown, before welcoming the Lake County Captains to Jackson® Field™ on Friday, April 8, raising the curtain on the 132-game High-A season.
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