Young Philadelphia Baseball Team Travels to Arkansas on Civil Rights Tour

LITTLE ROCK, AR — A group of teenage baseball players are taking 23 days to see 21 cities where major civil rights events took place.

The Anderson Monarchs of Philadelphia stopped in Little Rock on Sunday as part of their Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour, which was a tribute to famous baseball player, Jackie Robinson, The Negro Leagues and the civil rights movement. The 13-year-old baseball players traveled 4,000 miles total, not just to read about history, but live it.

The team walked on historical ground at Little Rock Central High School, which was home to the Little Rock 9, a group who Black students who went to a previously all-white school almost 60 years ago.

It was all part of the tour that taught them about equality or lack thereof for some during the civil rights movement in 1954.

“We feel that maybe this is the generation that’s going to change the world,” said Coach John Bromley.

Bromley said the 23-day tour which stopped in 21 cities across a country, he said, still faced struggles today.

“America, we feel, is slipping back a little bit. Who’s going to step up and make those changes?”

The team didn’t just learn, it connected with local teams in the cities they visited. Little Rock’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program played with the Monarchs, including Mo’ne Davis, the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series.

Coach Bromley said when his players headed back east, they would take with them experiences on the field and what they learned about the all the walks of life in the places that shaped history.

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