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The Drive wear throwback uniforms to honor Black Spinners

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 9:34 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - When you come to see the Drive, you’re accustomed to their red or white uniforms. But, come next week, they’ll have some new threads that’ll honor some forgotten sports figures.”

In the early 1900s, the Greenville Black Spinners were one of many successful baseball teams in Greenville.

“Baseball was a big part of the black community here in Greenville,” Michael Chibbaro, author and Greenville sports historian, said. “In a segregated society, blacks and whites didn’t play the game together. So blacks had to create own baseball world, and that’s how the Black Spinners came about.”

Unfortunately, the stories of Frank “Rabbit” Johnson and countless other black baseball players weren’t told.

“The talent was here. They just didn’t have the same opportunity as their white counterparts,” Chibbaro said. “So, you had a lot of guys who played here in the community who were kind of legendary.”

The Greenville Drive wanted to honor those unheard.

“It’s always been important for us since our first season in 2006 to honor the history,” Eric Jarinko, Greenville Drive General Manager, said. “This is just another part of that history especially with the grand opening of Unity Park to recognize the Black Spinners and what they meant to this community. Especially the southern side neighborhoods.”

On June 10th, the Drive will be the Black Spinners, complete with special wearing special made uniforms.

“It was important to us to tell this story but also come up with a unique logo and uniform combination that we think they would appreciate.” Jarinko said.

It’s a small gesture to remember those who were forgotten.

“We retell this history it’s getting honor and recognition to the Black Spinners and what they meant to the southern side of the community.” Jarinko said.

If you’re wanting to get one of these beautiful jerseys, just head on down to the Drive team store.