CLEVELAND, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with Lorain resident and Negro League veteran Ernest “Cokey” Nimmons today.
“Professional baseball players like Mr. Nimmons spent years in relative obscurity,” Brown said. “Despite their skills and talents, baseball’s color barrier stood in the way of the opportunities that should have been open to them. It is time that those who played in the Negro League receive the attention and due they deserve.”
A native of Sandusky, Nimmons played first base and outfield for the Indianapolis Clowns, the Philadelphia Stars, and the Kansas City Monarchs. During his time with the Clowns in 1952, Nimmons played with and roomed with Hank Aaron. After his contract ended, Nimmons enlisted in the U.S. armed forces before attending the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical Institute where he earned a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, Nimmons worked for 34 years at Ford Motor Co. in Avon Lake before retiring.
Last month, Brown joined Cleveland community leaders and sports figures for the grand opening ceremony of historic League Park. Opened on May 1, 1891, League Park was home to the National League Cleveland Spiders, the American League Cleveland Indians, and the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League before it was demolished in 1951.