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Reds Mourn Loss Of Chuck Harmon, First African American To Play For Cincinnati

Posted at 2:23 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 14:24:02-04

CINCINNATI (LEX 18)– A press release from the Cincinnati Reds says that Chuck Harmon, the first African American to play for the team, died Tuesday at the age of 94.

“The entire Reds family is saddened to lose one of its great ambassadors. The first African American to play for the Reds, Chuck Harmon was much more than a ballplayer,” said Reds Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini. “He represents a pivot point in Reds history. Chuck’s positive attitude and disposition helped diffuse the adversity he faced, and set the tone for those following in his footsteps. He was beloved by his teammates during his career and remained a treasure to this franchise and its fans throughout his life. He will be missed.”

Harmon’s standing with the Reds has been immortalized with a large bronze plaque near the entrance to the Great American Ball Park. In 2014, Harmon received the Reds Hall of Fame’s Crosley Award for his many contributions to the organization.

Chuck Harmon, who became the first African-American to play for the Cincinnati Reds in 1954 leaves the field after being presented with the Powel Crosley Jr. Award prior to the start of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)