James “Red” Moore, Negro League "Icon" Player Ends His Game At Age 99

 

The game of life is played like a baseball game. Each and everybody can play, but in the end Jesus is waiting for you at the home plate. That is what happened on early Saturday morning, February 6, 2016 for the famous Negro League 1st Baseman James “Red” Moore.  He traded in his earthly cleats for his heavenly slippers after 99 years on earth.

 

 

Mr. William Moore (not related) and Mr. James "Red" Moore waiting while Mrs Mary Moore looks on after a fun filled 99th birthday celebration (November 18, 2015) at the Nursing Home - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                               

Negro League Player James "Red" Moore proud to show how he help contributed to society in an enjoyable way - Photo Courtesy of museumofuncutfunk.com and www.jamesredmoore.com /Gregory White

 

After becoming a “1933” graduate from Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia, young James played for the Atlanta Black Crackers (ABC) and many other Negro League teams. However, the Atlanta Black Crackers is his signature team.

 

 

The Negro League treasured photo - Photo Courtesy of www.myajc.com and www.jamesredmoore.com

         

 

 

Negro League facts displayed on the cafeteria tables inside of Whole Foods Market on Ponce de Leon Ave grounds where James Moore and the Atlanta Black Crackers (ABC) played - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

The 1940’s was a busy decade for him. He played professional baseball, served his country in World War II for 3 years, left the military, returned to his professional baseball career where he earned spots on 3 different All Star Teams. He was a true warrior that enjoyed entertaining the crowd.

 

 

Memorabilia of the great James "Red" Moore and a signature ball from Legend Hank Aaron whose doors were opened by Mr. Moore - Photo Courtesy of www.myajc.com and www.jamesredmoore.com

                                 

Facts displayed on the cafeteria tables inside of Whole Foods Market on Ponce de Leon Ave grounds where James "Red" Moore and the Atlanta Black Crackers (ABC) once played - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

I was fortunate to meet this legendary soul at his 99th birthday party at the nursing home in November 2015 with Gregory White, friend and public relations for Mr. Moore. His energetic, fun loving wife, Mary was there to greet the guest who was so proud to be sharing this special moment with her true love James, family and friends.

 

 

James "Red" Moore and wife Mary Moore being chaperoned by Renee Sudderth - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                      

James and Mary Moore remembering how they use to dance but now enjoy watching others dance - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

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James Red" Moore being celebrated by family, friends and Renee Sudderth, Gregory White (Public Relations for Mr. Moore) and Ms J - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                        

Family and friends enjoying the Big "99th" Birthday Party for James Moore - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

Elaine Hayes, Rodney and wife Sharon Terrell enjoying Mr. James Moore special day - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                      

Happy "99th" Birthday cake with Mr. James "Red" Moore picture decoration on the cake that Mr Moore enjoyed - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

I was proud to walk toward him sporting my Negro League jacket. I asked him do you know what I’m wearing. With a smile and pointing his finger he said slowly “Negro League”. Oh that was exciting to me!!!

 

 

Negro League Legend James "Red" Moore signing a 82 year old man's Negro League jacket who could had played in the league but fate had other plans - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                       

At the beginning of January, I wanted to share the photo book of his birthday party with him and his wife. This day, Mrs. Moore wasn’t feeling so good so she told me to leave the photo album in his room.

 

Earlier, when I was sitting in the room with him and his two relatives and roommate, he was sleeping the whole time. But when I went back in his room about 15 minutes later to put the photo album in his night stand, he woke up and was refreshed.

 

"We Are The Ship", a Negro League Baseball Story by Kadir Nelson

 

 

We carried on a great conversation and I knew it was by the grace of God he was so alert and we shared our life stories and laughter as we told our “war stories”. I told him I will be retiring this year after 33 years and he talked about his special moment in the military when things were very different in the 40’s.

 

In his room, he had a few photos posing with very impressive people. I saw photos of him and Dominique Wilkes; Hank Aaron; Del Harris and Mike Glenn. However, the most appealing photo was the one with President Barack Obama.

 

I asked Mr. Moore “how did it feel to meet the President of the United States on August 5, 2013 knowing that early in your life time you never dreamed about a man of color being the President of the United States”. Oh I felt real good knowing I was hanging out with the “Big Wheel”. I laughed and told Mr. Moore I know President Obama felt honor that he was hanging out with you (Negro League Players) big Wheels too.

 

A great historical moment with President Barack Obama meeting and shaking hands with James Moore and the remaining Negro League Players on August 5, 2013 - Photo Courtesy of Pete Souza . See President Obama's letter to Mr. Moore at www.jamesredmoore.com

 

When I had talked to Mrs. Moore about her adventure with President Obama, I was laughing too hard. She said she was so emotional before she met him on that unforgettable day. She said that she was crying like a baby before she walked into West Wing of the White House. Then she said “I had to get myself together because I didn’t want to look like an ugly cry baby meeting the President".

 

 

The White House that James Moore, the Negro League players and family members never dreamed of entering - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth on another occasion

 

With the Moores being in their 80’s and 90’s, I know they have had many memories and meeting the President of the United States was one of their top memories. Not only did they meet but they shared some great Negro League highlights.

 

 

James "Red" Moore, Norman F "Geronimo" Lumpkins, Lawrence "Larry" William enjoying their Negro League retirement years- Courtesy of Atlantadailyworld.com and www.jamesredmoore.com

 

I told co-worker, historian Matthew Kinsey about the Moore’s stories and he was so excited and impressed that he added more to the story. He said he remembered his grandfather telling him how he use to climb up a magnolia tree watching the Negro League play in a dusty field and everyone cheering at Ponce De Leon Base Ball Park in Atlanta. He was inspired by this story.

 

A beautiful photo on the front walls of Whole Foods Market that shows how it use to be at Ponce de Leon Base Ball Park - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                             

                       

I was so inspired that I went to and found the exact location where his grandfather would sit and enjoy these games over 70 years ago.

 

Ponce de Leon Base Ball Park, Atlanta, Georgia - Home of the Atlanta Crackers and the Atlanta Black Crackers where James "Red" Moore spent his legendary years here - Courtesy of Georgia State University Library (LBCB114-072b, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic)) Collection)

                                 

A photograph taken from the same spot where Ponce de Leon Base Ball Park held the games for James "Red" Moore. Now replaced by a Shopping Mall consisting of Home Depot, Whole Foods Market and etc. looking across the street at Sears Roebuck (PONCE) - Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

Since then, they have built Home Depot, Whole Food and other stores on this location. About 15 years ago Mr. Moore was honored in a ceremony with a plaque bearing his name.

 

A photo taken of how it use to be for the Atlanta Crackers and the Atlanta Black Crackers for the Negro league players - Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Crackers / Renee Sudderth

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More of his life story has been created beautifully by Gregory White and the Webmaster, Hal Jacobs at www.jamesredmoore.com. Mr. James “Red” Moore once said “It makes me feel real big to be honored and people can see history and not just read about it. That makes me feel real big."  I totally agree because it was such an honor to meet him face to face and share these special moments. Thank you Mr. James “Red” Moore, I will see you at the Diamond in the Sky.

 

Renee Sudderth, Photojournalist of Splash Magazine/Air Force Veteran salutes James Moore for being a Veteran, Negro League Player, Deacon, Sunday School teacher and overall a great human being - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                     

Negro League James "Red" Moore gets a moment back in the sun to do what he loved to do - Courtesy of www.jamesredmoore.com

 

Copyright © 2016.February This story written and photos by Renee Sudderth and www.jamesredmoore.com for Splash Magazines. It is not to be sold or reproduce without written permission of Renee Sudderth

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