Making history

Seneca Valley School District  |  Posted on

RGMS collaboration with Josh Gibson Foundation

In collaboration with the Josh Gibson Foundation, students on the Ryan Gloyer Middle School (RGMS) Bobcat Team raised over $300 to honor the legacy of Charlie Hughes, a Pittsburgh-born African American Professional Baseball player who was buried without a headstone. But now, 43 years later that all changed thanks to the tremendous efforts of this dedicated group.

Students wrote essays, recorded speeches, designed flyers and asked for donations during their lunch period to help raise money for the initiative.

“They did this all themselves and I’m super proud,” said Mr. Mike Conlon, RGMS world history teacher.

According to their website, Negro Leagues Memorial Markers: A Josh Gibson Foundation Initiative honors the memories of late Negro Leagues players who were buried in unmarked graves. This initiative is designed to raise money to place gravestones at the burial plots of Pittsburgh-area Negro League players. The currently unmarked graves span 13 cemeteries throughout Allegheny County, including Allegheny Cemetery, Homestead Cemetery, Homewood Cemetery and Round Hill Cemetery.

Brendan Schuster, Unmarked Grave committee member at the Josh Gibson Foundation, met with students on Tuesday, March 26, to collect the money that was raised. Mr. Schuster surprised students by announcing that the headstone for Charlie Hughes was installed ahead of schedule at the Greenwood Cemetery in Sharpsburg, PA.

On behalf of the Josh Gibson Foundation, special plaques were presented to the classroom to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and commemorate local baseball legends Josh Gibson and Charlie Hughes.

“These small gravestone markers in the earth are a reminder to everyone that the love for the game and the pursuit of excellence can triumph over prejudice, embroidering a mark on the rich tapestry of baseball history,” said Mr. Schuster.