CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Eddie G.G. Burton sits in his Charlotte home recounting his days as a Negro League player in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and his excitement about hearing that another player was about to break the Major League Baseball color line in 1947.
"Oh man it was really something, a whole lot of excitement, said Burton who played every position, except catcher and pitcher for the Harrisburg Giants of the Eastern League, "I’m really glad he got a chance to really show the Negro ballplayer belonged-- could play."
Burton, who now lives in Charlotte with his son and wife Gaile, regularly attends events for Negro League players, including an annual event in Baltimore in honor of his Harrisburg Giant team which won the 1954 Eastern league Championship.
When Jackie Robinson became the first black to play for the then Brooklyn Dodgers, fellow Negro League players knew that Robinson's success would help open the door for so many others.
"He opened the door so that the others ballplayers-- that we as good as him, or better, got the opportunity to play, otherwise they wouldn't have."