FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Clifford Layton is a part of baseball history. The 89-year-old spent four years in the Negro League back in a time when the sports world, like everything else in society, was segregated.
- He was a teammate of a young Hank Aaron
- He also talks about what it was like trying to get a hit off Satchel Paige
- He is planning to throw the first ceremonial pitch on July 12 at Segra Stadium
On July 12 at Segra Stadium, Mr. Layton will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at 7 p.m. before the Fayetteville Woodpeckers game. He's glad that is happening.
"To me, it would mean everything. It will show African Americans were the best of the best in the Negro League. Not only that, but we were the best of the best in all of baseball," he said.
During his baseball career, Mr. Layton either played with or competed against legends of the game. He was a teammate of a young Hank Aaron who holds the record for most home runs hit in a career. Layton can also tell you what it was like to try and get a hit off one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Satchel Paige.
"So, what happened Satch was throwing three innings and we didn't touch him in those 3 innings. We played then in a second that was on a Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee and he put on a pitching exhibition against us that night," he said.
Now, the former baseball player is on a different kind of team. He told us that since 1964, he's been a preacher.