Red Dirt Diaries: Push To Get OK Baseball Player In Sports Hall Of Fame

Friday, September 2nd 2016, 7:22 pm
By: Karl Torp

He's been called Oklahoma City's Jackie Robinson, the first person to break the color barrier in Major League baseball.

Now, a Mustang man is determined to make sure the story behind Oklahoma's "Number 42" has another chapter.

Mark House found three old player ball caps from the 1950’s Oklahoma City Indians at an antique shop several years ago. He soon learned of one of the team’s pitchers from 1952 and 1953, named Bill Greason.

“The first black player to play Oklahoma City pro sports,” said House about Greason.

The more House learned about the one-time Negro League player, the more he realized his importance in OKC.

“In my heart I believe he belongs in our Sports Hall of Fame,” said House.

Every year since 2011, House has nominated Greason for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

Last year, his nomination included a letter from Willie Mays on Greason’s behalf. The two played together for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League.

Bill Greason said he’s honored to have such a passionate fan in Oklahoma.

“Yes it was odd, ‘What is this man calling me for?’” Greason remembered thinking the first time House called him at his Birmingham, Al. home.

“We established a great friendship,” added Greason.

The former Marine who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima before his baseball days, turns 92 Saturday.

He’s a Reverend at this church and still preaches on Sundays.

“The people out there were out of sight,” said Greason about his playing days in OKC.

House promises to keep nominating his friend, with the hope that Greason receives his induction next year.