STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) – The big yellow bus that normally runs through Adams Street in Steelton carried much older passengers Thursday, historians. More specifically, baseball historians.
SABR, or the Society for American Baseball Research, is hosting the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference this weekend at the Hilton in downtown Harrisburg. The conference promotes the history of black baseball, with the midstate having deep ties. The Harrisburg Giants are a former Negro League team, and two of its biggest stars came from Steelton; Oscar Charleston, and Herbert “Rap” Dixon.
“Herbert Dixon was born in Kingston, Georgia in 1902, and though he’s a great baseball player I think he was an extraordinary human being in a troubled time.” says local baseball historian and SABR member Ted Knorr.
Knorr, along with Steelton Mayor Maria Marcinko and the Borough came together to organize a roving bus tour of Dixon’s life in Steelton. His home, his church, his baseball field and his resting place at Midland Cemetery were all stops along the tour.
Dixon is considered one of the greatest Negro League players of all time, and is arguably the biggest player from the league not to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Knorr hopes keeping his name and legacy afloat will help that cause, “Rap is known nationwide, not as well as he should be, because he deserves to be in Cooperstown.”