Members of the Negro Baseball League honored at American Family Field
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Innovation and daring. Those are the words used to describe the formation of Negro League Baseball in 1920, and tonight, on July 22, players from that league were honored in front of thousands.
Inside American Family Field, more than baseball is being played. History is being told.
"He's like 87, handsome as all out, still," said Patrice Biddle, wife of former NBL player Dennis Biddle.
This is Patrice Biddle -- and if that last name sounds familiar -- it should.
Her husband is Dennis Biddle, a former Negro League Baseball player.
From 1953 to 1954, Dennis Biddle became part of American history playing for the Chicago American Giants. One of eight Negro League Baseball teams.
"1948-1960, before you had equitable amount of negro players in Major League Baseball," said Patrice Biddle.
Turning the pages of history, nearly six decades later.
Tributes now given to the league, and men, that changed the game forever.
"What is the significance of the history to our people, to our culture as African American people, for one," said Patrice Biddle.
And if you look hard enough across the backdrop of American Family Field, you can see negro league legacies everywhere.
"He played for the Memphis Clowns back in, I think it was 1930ish," said Chad Roper, grandson of an NBL player.
Chad Roper of Milwaukee speaks fondly of his grandfather.
Roper's grandfather played a part in this great American story.
And days like today keep that legacy alive.
"They erase history, like something didn't happen so what this does is letting people know this honestly happened," said Chad Roper.
Today, a line formed to meet one of those legends. But before that, a bat gifted by none other than Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen -- symbolizing the generational power of baseball.
M.C. Johnson says his time in the negro leagues was special.
"My heart is ticking today to me because to me that's a great honor," said Johnson.
Milwaukee was home to the Milwaukee Bears -- the first and only Negro League Baseball team in Milwaukee. The Bears played for one season in 1923.