Former Negro League baseball player Sam Allen Zooms with Spratley students
Sam Allen, former Negro League baseball player, served as the guest speaker at Spratley Gifted Center during Black History Month. He joined students via Zoom on Friday, February 26, 2021. He shared his experiences in the League and gave students an opportunity to ask questions.
Allen, a native of Norfolk, VA, and student at Booker T. Washington High School, played on the football and baseball teams. He was a member of the Negro League for four years beginning in 1957. Allen was a member of the Kansas City Monarchs, the Raleigh Tigers, and the Memphis Red Sox. He led the league in runs in 1957. His career ended in 1960 when he was drafted into the military.
Allen was inducted into the Hampton Roads African American Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a White House Honoree in 2007. He was also a 2019 Inductee of the Tidewater Baseball Shrine at Harbor Parker in Norfolk.
“Based on some of the questions, most of the students had a difficult time comprehending some of the challenges Mr. Allen faced during the days of segregation,” said Ron Holloman, assistant principal at Spratley. “However, there were a few students who asked Mr. Allen how did it feel to not be able to use the restrooms at the gas stations while they were on the road and how they felt not being able to eat at some of the restaurants. Some students responded by saying that they are glad things had changed from the days of segregation, which was refreshing to hear how a child empathized with the treatment Mr. Allen endured.”