ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of former little league baseball players got the welcome they deserved in Orlando on Tuesday, 63 years after they first stepped to the mound.
The reunion happened, in part, because of a recently released documentary called “Longtime Coming” that chronicles the South's first racially integrated Little League baseball game.
Members of the all-black Pensacola Jaycees team walked alongside the all-white Orlando Kiwanis onto the Lake Lorna Doone Park field. The first time the team faced off was in 1955, the game almost didn't happen because of racial tension and segregation. At the time, the 12-year-old boys said they "just wanted to play."
This time, instead of jeers and anger, the men, now in their 70s, were greeted with the band from Jones High School and Orlando Magic cheerleaders.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer gave the men a key to the city and proclaimed it “Barrier Breakers Day.”
The trailer for the film can be viewed at www.longtimecoming.film.