The Student News Site of Cranford High School

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The Student News Site of Cranford High School

Dialogue

The Student News Site of Cranford High School

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Cougar Spotlight:  Cranford Dixie Giants, The Town’s All-Black Baseball Team

Cougar+Spotlight%3A%C2%A0+Cranford+Dixie+Giants%2C+The+Town%E2%80%99s+All-Black+Baseball+Team

CRANFORD, NJ — Cranford has long been considered a “baseball town,” with its illustrious high school program and well-appreciated Cranford Baseball and Softball League (CBSL). However, one of its most impactful teams has gone unrecognized by the town for far too long. 

 

The Cranford Dixie Giants were a semiprofessional baseball team composed entirely of African-American ball players, due to the MLB’s well-documented color barrier, yet they played against both white and black teams. The team’s manager, Ernest Tyree, was the identifying link that allowed  Cranford High School student Daniel Argasinski, his film teacher, Justin Corazza, and school librarian, Christine Szeluga, to learn more about the team after a lesson stressing the importance of local history. They learned that Tyree was not only the team’s manager but a chef for Thomas Sperry, the co-founder of S&H Green Stamps. 

 

This research led to The Dixie Giants being honored with a bench built by Argasinski and a plaque noting their achievements on the corner of Elizabeth and North Union Avenues. , The dedication ceremony took place on June 10t with a large crowd in attendance including Mayor Brian Andrews and various members of the Tyree family, who were visibly moved by the proceedings, as the town officially recognized their family’s groundbreaking lineage in a step towards honoring local history.  The ceremony officially concluded with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, cut by Mr. Tyree’s great-grandson and Daniel Arganski. 

 

The ceremony was the culmination of a multi-year undertaking in which CHS students in both film and journalism classes devoted their time, both in class and out, to ensure that the Dixie Giants would continue to be recognized by the town.

 

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