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Mudcat, Downing scheduled to sign baseballs at UHS Vestal 

August 28, 2018

Two players from an elite group of baseball professionals known as the “12 Black Aces” will visit UHS Vestal on Wednesday, Aug. 29, starting at 11:15 a.m.

The 12 Black Aces group is headed by legendary Major League pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant. 

Mr. Grant and Al Downing are scheduled to be the two retired pitchers who will autograph baseballs free of charge for patients, visitors and employees at UHS Vestal, the Broome County Urban League has reported.

The 12 Black Aces program serves as a tribute to the players’ achievements and as a means of education and inspiration. 

The name refers to the dozen African-American pitchers who were the first to post 20-win seasons over the course of Major League Baseball history. 

The 12 overcame what has often been called the “last barrier,” a perceived reluctance in the sport to put black men on the mound that endured long after baseball’s color line was crossed.

The players will be in town for the annual Jim “Mudcat” Grant All-Star Golf Tournament, sponsored by Security Mutual and the United Way.

The annual tournament benefits the youth programs and services of the Urban League.

If you have time, stop by after 11:15 (until the supply of baseballs runs out) to meet the players and get your free autographed baseball.