Brewers, The Hop unveil streetcar in honor of historic Negro Leagues

NOW: Brewers, The Hop unveil streetcar in honor of historic Negro Leagues

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Next time you're in downtown Milwaukee, you may notice a specially decorated streetcar.

The Hop is teaming up with the Milwaukee Brewers and Associated Bank to salute the 101st anniversary of baseball's Negro Leagues.

"These legendary men never cried about the social injustice," said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. "They went out and did something about it. You won't let me play with you? I create my own."

The Negro Leagues formed because Black players were not allowed in the majors until 1947. 

While the circumstances were unfair, the Negro Leagues turned out to be popular, providing a stage for some of the best players in baseball history. 

Milwaukee's Negro League team, the Bears, played for one year -- 1923.

On Tuesday, May 25, a Milwaukee Bears streetcar was unveiled. 

There was a proclamation from the mayor, and members of the Brewers organization were there, along with a few guys who played in the Negro Leagues. 

"When I started playing for the Negro League, I didn't really know who I was playing for," said James Beckum. "I just wanted to play baseball. It didn't make any difference who it was. But I come to find out later on that's what I was doin'."

The Milwaukee Bears streetcar will remain in service through 2021.

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