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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Fredrick Douglass Little League 

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The Fredrick Douglass Little League is the only predominantly African American Little League in Central Indiana with an official charter from Little League International. The program consists of extremely talented and dedicated boys and girls with great commitment to achieving excellence. Founded in 1954, the goal of the organization is to represent the city of Indianapolis, its neighborhoods and the league’s sponsors in a winning fashion. Not limiting player success to the field, the league also encourages its players to do their best in school and to attend practices and community events. 

Ronald Johnson, Indianapolis resident, former Douglass Little League Player and current vice president of T-Ball Operations, recalls some of his earliest memories as a player with Fredrick Douglass Little League.  

“When I was introduced to Douglass Little League, I was able to play organized baseball. One of my earliest memories was playing Minor League Baseball on Saturdays to Major League Baseball under the lights during the week. It was always packed, had great food, great comradery,” said Johnson.  

Johnson and Timothy Kimbrough, president of Baseball Operations, noted that organized sports are one of the best crime prevention programs to have for the Black youth. 

“I think it [Douglass Little League] should further impact lowering the crime rate,” said Kimbrough. “It’ll give kids something to do in the neighborhood cause there’s a lot of crime going on around that area. Our aim is to keep the kids off the streets.” 

For the past two years, Douglass Little League was able to partner with the Urban Initiative through the MLB to travel to Milwaukee and participate in a different level of competition. The Urban Initiative was designed to give little league teams the opportunity to compete to make the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The trip also exposed youth team members to what a career in Major League Baseball looks like.  

The Little League team is looking for sponsors to help support youth with an emphasis on keeping them off the streets and gathering them in a safe environment to enjoy America’s favorite pastime. The dream team consisting of Johnson, Kimbrough, Eric James and more believe in pouring back into the community that helped raise them. They challenge those in the Indianapolis area to come and volunteer, give back and help a child reach their maximum potential. 

To donate to this cause, visit https://www.paypal.com/US/fundraiser/charity/1815381. To learn more about Douglass Little League, visit www.dllindy.org/douglasslittleleague

Contact staff writer Braxton Babb at (317) 762-7854. Follow her on Twitter @BLIEVESHEWRITES. 

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