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WTVI to host former Negro League Baseball players, ‘Jackie Robinson’ film screening

From left, Ann Thomas, Kenneth Douglas, Gracie Harper and Edna Williams Springs. Their father Samuel Douglas owned the Negro League Charlotte Red Sox baseball team and uncle Pringle Ferguson owned the Negro League Charlotte Black Hornets baseball team.
From left, Ann Thomas, Kenneth Douglas, Gracie Harper and Edna Williams Springs. Their father Samuel Douglas owned the Negro League Charlotte Red Sox baseball team and uncle Pringle Ferguson owned the Negro League Charlotte Black Hornets baseball team. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

To honor the PBS premiere of Ken Burns’ documentary, “Jackie Robinson,” WTVI PBS Charlotte will host a panel discussion on Monday with former Negro League Baseball players who live in the Charlotte area, as well as a screening of the film.

The event is open to media only, 5-6:30 p.m. at the station’s studio on Commonwealth Avenue.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Beatrice Thompson, veteran radio host and the first African-American television anchor in Charlotte.

Panelists will include former Negro League players Edward G.G. Burton and Bill “Wallie” Cathcart, the family of former Negro League player Samuel Douglas, and Michael Turner Webb, Gastonia Library branch manager and Negro League ambassador.

Panelists will share their personal stories about the league.

Charlotte once had such famous Negro League Baseball teams as the Charlotte Black Hornets, the Red Socks and the Charlotte Pepsi Cola Giants.

“Jackie Robinson,” a two-part, four-hour film, will air on WTVI PBS Charlotte at 9 p.m. April 11 and 12. Robinson was the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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