Mike Norris and the late Vida Blue, baseball legends who are also both known for supporting youth athletes in the local community, were recently named to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s (NLBM) seventh “Hall of Game” induction class.
The NLBM is inducting five pitchers who were part of the iconic group known as the “Black Aces,” a term coined by the late Jim “Mudcat” Grant that celebrates 15 African American pitchers who won 20 games or more in a Major League Baseball season.
The five members headlining the 2023 Hall of Game Class includes Norris, Blue, Al Downing, Dwight Gooden, and Dontrelle Willis.
“Dave Stewart, who will accept on behalf of Blue, his former Oakland A’s teammate, Ferguson Jenkins, J.R. Richard, and Mudcat Grant, were inducted into the Hall of Game in previous years,” the NLBM states. “CC Sabathia and David Price had schedule conflicts and will be inducted in a subsequent class.”
The 2023 Hall of Game, presented by Hy-Vee, will be held at 8 pm, Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Gem Theater.
The West Contra Costa County community is intimately familiar with Norris and Blue, who both played for Bay Area MLB teams and gained a reputation for supporting local youth ball players. Blue died in May of last year. Norris remains involved locally, helping youth via participation in The Mike Norris Baseball Academy and San Pablo Baseball Association. (See related articles here and here).