EXPIRED: 11/16/09 – Wallace “Bucky” Williams, 102, was the last living Negro League baseball player.
He played third base and shortstop for the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1927 to 1932 and then, in 1936, he played for the Homestead Grays. Even earlier he played for the Pittsburgh Monarchs.
Williams was born in Baltimore, Maryland. When he was still an infant his family moved to Pittsburgh, where he lived for nearly 103 years.
During his baseball years, Williams played with such stars as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But, like a lot of people in Pittsburgh, Williams took a job in the steel plants after his baseball career ended.
Still, his contribution to the sport was not forgotten and he was made an honorary member of the Negro League Hall of Fame. In 1995, he traveled to Kansas City for a gathering of Negro Leagues players.
Williams wished that more people were aware of the Negro Leagues. Maybe some of those great players would have been allowed in the majors if not for the racial barriers of the time, but he wasn’t bitter. He always enjoyed watching baseball on television and was even a guest of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on special occassions.