The man who broke the pro sports color barrier in Oklahoma City will be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Bill Greason, 92, has a local sports historian to partly thank for the honor.
Years ago, Mustang’s Mark House discovered an Oklahoma City Indians baseball cap from the 1950’s in an antique store.
He soon learned the story behind one of the team’s pitchers, Bill Greason.
Greason was the OKC’s Jackie Robinson. He became the city’s first black professional athlete.
“The guys took to me because I was a winner,” said Greason, who is still an active Reverend with his church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Greason is also a very proud former Marine who served at Iwo Jima.
When House learned about Greason, he started pushing for his induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
That included persuading Greason’s one-time teammate from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues to write a letter of recommendation.
House said Willie Mayes was delighted to help.
“The main goal is the leave an inspiration for generations,” House said about his efforts on Greason’s behalf.
Seven years later, Greason got the votes needed.
“It took a long time, but now that it’s actually happening, I see a smile on his face and I believe he’ll leave us with a smile in his heart,” said House about his now friend.
Greason was in OKC this week as the Sports Hall of Fame class for 2017 was announced.
“I never dreamed of this,” said Greason who plans to be back in OKC for the induction ceremony in August.