During the week of June 16, 1945 the Homestead Grays played a double header against the Newark Eagles at Griffith Stadium. Griffith Stadium was the location for most of the Homestead Grays home games in 1945.
A crowd of 8,367 fans watched Newark’s starter Lefty Hill retire the first 12 batters he faced in game one. In the bottom of the fifth inning the great Buck Leonard led off the inning with a towering home run that went over the right field wall. The home run must have shaken Lefty Hill as he would end up losing the game, 7-2. The home run hit by Leonard matched the entire total of home runs the Washington Senators hit in 1945 at Griffith stadium. In fact the one home run the Senators hit was a in the park home run.
In game two the Grays won a very hard fought game, 3-2, for the sweep.
1945 was the 9th consecutive year the Homestead Grays won the Negro League Pennant. During this nine year span the team was led by the following Hall of Fame players.
Jamie “Cool Papa” Bell
Joe “Smokey” Williams