A bill designating October 7 as Moses Fleetwood Walker Day in honor of the first black major league baseball player has cleared Ohio's Legislature and is headed to Governor John Kasich's desk.
Democratic State Representative David Leland says a day honoring Walker celebrates "the fight for equality in our society." Walker was born in Mount Pleasant in 1856. After a college career at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, Walker was signed by the American Association's Toledo Blue Stockings as a catcher. He played 42 games in 1884 before being cut because of an injury. He subsequently played in the minor leagues but never got a chance to return to the majors when both the American Association and National League banned black players in 1889.