Washington County’s Link to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Tuesday is ‘Bud’ Fowler Day
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the death of John W. Jackson, also known as “Bud” Fowler, the first black professional baseball player ever. Tuesday, Feb. 26 is “Bud” Fowler Day in Washington County.
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the death of John W. Jackson—also known as “Bud” Fowler—the first black professional baseball player ever.
Fowler played for a time with the Stillwater Club in the Northwestern League in 1884 and led the Stillwater Club—one of the worst in the league—in pitching, batting and stolen bases, Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society said. At that time, local newspaper’s called Fowler “Stillwater’s Colored Bonanza.”
The anniversary of Fowler’s death is Feb. 26.
“He was the first black professional baseball player ever back in the 1870s,” Peterson said. “He travelled around the country wherever he could play that white teams would accept him.”
Fowler reached the milestone when he joined the Stillwater team, Peterson said. Unfortunately, he never made it to the major leagues, while six other players from that squad did.
A native of Cooperstown, N.Y., Fowler became the first professional black baseball player when he played in Massachusetts in 1870.
The Stillwater City Council and the Washington County Board both named Tuesday, Feb. 26, “Bud” Fowler Day to commemorate his pioneer spirit and determination.
The city of Stillwater will send the proclamation to the mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., where the entrance of Doubleday Field will be named Fowler Way on April 20.
Woodbury Jackie Robinson Event
District 833 Community Education and the Office of Educational Equity & Integration will host a March 18 event about Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues.
Ron Rabinovitz will discuss his lifelong relationship with Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947. Rabinovitz was 10 years old when he began writing letters to Jackie.
“His story is one of friendship, sportsmanship, courage and adversity,” reads a notice from Community Education. “To add to the excitement of the event, our own high school and elementary age students will describe what a true hero means to them in words, song, dance and unity.”
The event is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Woodbury High School. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $4 for middle school and high school students and $2 for elementary students. The family price is capped at $20.
People can register on the Community Education website (use course ID #AD25131). Groups of 12 or more people registering together can get a discount. Call 651-458-6607 for details.