Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baseball's Ghost Hunter

by Phil Taylor

Section 14, block B, row E, number 6. For more than 70 years, that was all that marked a patch of earth in the East Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clifton, N.J. Visitors walked over it on their way to the gravesites of loved ones, unaware that they were treading on the final resting place of Ulysses Franklin Grant, a Negro leagues star of the 1890s. Though Grant, a speedy second baseman with a .344 career batting average, would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, he died in poverty in 1937, without any descendants to pay for a headstone. Like many Negro Leaguers, Grant was not only denied proper recognition in life but also suffered a final indignity in death: an unmarked grave.


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