RICHMOND, Va. – As city leaders debate where the hometown baseball team will play in the 21st century, we turn back the hands of time to remember a Richmond man considered one of the greatest baseball players ever to play the game, but he has been largely forgotten.
Raymond Emmitt Dandridge was born in Church Hill in 1913.
He began playing baseball in cornfields in the east end of the city. He excelled, but played baseball during a time when the game was segregated.
Ray Dandridge played in the Negro Leagues for teams like the Newark Eagles and New York Cubans, but Major League Baseball was out of the question. Unfortunately, after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Dandridge was considered too old to play in the major leagues and never had his time in the spotlight.
Baseball experts considered the late-Dandridge one of the best third basemen to ever play the game. Dandridge was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and is the only Richmonder in the Hall.
Dandridge passed away in 1994, but don’t bother looking for a historical marker dedicated to him in Richmond. There is not one in this City of Monuments.
Greg McQuade traveled to Cooperstown, New York and visited Dandridge’s family in New Jersey to bring you the story of this forgotten baseball star.