Cyclones to wear throwback uniforms honoring Elizabethton Blue

Published 1:18 pm Monday, March 8, 2021

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The Elizabethton High School baseball season is now underway. This year, the baseball team will be wearing new uniforms for some games during the season.

The new “throwback” uniforms are replicas of the Elizabethton Blue Grays uniforms Elizabethton and the Tri-Cities only Semi-Pro Negro Baseball team.

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Playing between 1935-1955, the team consisted of players from Elizabethton, Kingsport, Bristol, Tennessee, Virginia, Greeneville, Kentucky, and Middle Tennessee. Most served in various branches of the military.

The replica uniforms were graciously purchased by the Dugout Club, supported by our wonderful community.

The purchase also includes hats, socks, and belts to complete the uniform. The reason for the “throwback” uniform is to recognize the Elizabethton Blue Grays players and their contribution to the game and their proud representation of Elizabethton and the Tri-Cities area.

Thank you to Uniforms Express; they were gracious enough to design the “throwback” jersey identical to the original uniforms.

Jacey Augustus is the founder and director of the Cedar Grove Foundation Inc., Elizabethton’s only African American historical organization.

Augustus stated, “the foundation is dedicated to collecting, preserving lost, rare, and unknown histories of the area.”

According to Augustus, the team would travel to games at night to avoid racial problems, accepting invitations from church members to stay in their homes.

The Elizabethton Blue Grays love for America’s favorite past- time was never discouraged, even with the passing of the racially segregating “Color Line.”

This only encouraged them to continue playing.

The Elizabethton High School and Elizabethton City School Board of Education have memorabilia about the team on display to recognize their achievements.

The Cedar Grove Foundation, Inc. dedicated this display and memorabilia with the help of the last two remaining Elizabethton Blue Grays players James “Chick” Forney and Columbus “Ted” Hartsaw.

The Elizabethton High School Baseball team will be dedicating a game to recognize the Blue Grays and wear the “throwback” uniforms for the first time on April 12, 2021.

EHS baseball coach Ryan Presnell stated,” We hope to have several relatives of the players on hand that night to throw out the first pitch, etc. We will plan to start a GoFundMe page on behalf of the Cedar Grove Historical Society to commission research and preservation of African American athletic contributions in Carter County.”

Come out on April 12, 2021, to see the baseball game and show your support for the EHS Baseball Team and the Cedar Grove Foundation Historical Society.