On this day in 1947: Before 1,500 fans at Charlotte’s Griffith Park, Buck Leonard has three hits to lead the Homestead Grays to a 17-0 exhibition victory over the hometown Charlotte Black Hornets.
First baseman Leonard began his career in 1925 with his hometown Rocky Mount Black Swans. He becomes best known for his 17 seasons with the Homestead (Pa.) Grays. The Grays are the New York Yankees of the Negro National League, and Leonard and teammate Josh Gibson are the league’s Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
In 1972, Leonard, despite having being barred from the major leagues by segregation, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.