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October 30, 1989 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-30

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 30, 1989 - Page 5

Afro-American Hall of Fame inducts new honorees

by Steven Cohen
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - Detroit Mayor Coleman
Young didn't show up. Neither did Muham-
mad Ali or Wilma Rudolph.
But Howard Cosell did.
For that reason, the National Afro-Amer-
ican Sports Hall of Fame's Fourth Annual
Induction Ceremony, held Saturday night at
Detroit's Cobo Center, was able to maintain
the luster the presence of those celebrities
originally promised.
Cosell, admittedly vexed because the
other headliners didn't show, emceed the
event and livened it with his humorous in-
troductions and light banter. He seemed
upset that he missed his longtime friend Ali,
who he hasn't seen in four years.

Despite Cosell's initial disappointment
with the lack of national celebrities, the De-
troit-area honorees who showed up received a
groundswell of support from the crowd of
500.
Besides Ali and Rudolph, who in 1960
became the first Black American woman to
win three gold medals, the hall inducted Sam
Washington, the late athletic director of St.
Cecilia's Church Athletic program; Ronald
Teasley, the former baseball coach at De-
troit's Northwestern High School; bowling
pioneer Lafayette Allen; and the Brewster
Old Timers Organization.
The Brewsters Old Timers, founded in
1958 by a group of former athletes, is dedi-
cated to senior citizens and children who par-
ticipate in athletics. The nationally-renowned

Detroit group includes several notable sports
figures, including boxing manager Eddie
Futch, and Olympic sprinters Eddie Tolan
and John Lewis.
Allen, known as bowling's Jackie
Robinson, opened the door in 1951 for thou-
sands of Black bowlers when he sponsored
the first Black team to bowl in the Lily
White American Bowling Conference in St.
Paul, Minn.
In addition to sponsoring several Black
Detroit bowlers, Allen broke down color bar-
riers at the Satellite and Maple Bowling
Lanes in Dearborn, Mich.
Washington, a former player in the
American Football League, was credited for
his activities in the Catholic Youth Organi-
zation, his work in organizing recreational

leagues, and his involvement with youth
football. Washington influenced many cur-
rent NBA players, including the Lakers'
Magic Johnson, who grew up in Lansing.
Teasley, a former star athlete at North-
western, returned to coach at his alma mater.
Teasley coached basketball, baseball, and
golf for 20 years with great success at
Northwestern.
Teasley hit .500 at Wayne State Univer-
sity, a record which still stands. He played
for several Black barnstorming teams and in
1948, when he signed with the Brooklyn
Dodgers, he became the eighth Black base-
ball player to sign with a major league team.
Former Michigan baseball player Kourt-
ney Thompson, who played for Teasley in
high school, called Teasley, a "great, great

man."
Northwestern High School students
Demetria Brooks and Alan Black received the
hall's Youth Awards for their academic and
athletic accomplishments, and former Lion
Lem Barney was given the Distinguished
Service Award for his work with Detroit
youngsters.
Barney's wife, who was there to accept
his award, said, "Normally Lem would not
go to that much trouble to call me and tell
me that I should be here. (But) this is such
an important occasion, such an important
organization.
"We have certainly placed enough empha
sis on the negative and on the ones that are
not doing as well," she added. "But becaus4
of programs like this, (promoting academia
achievement) can be accomplished."

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