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Lookouts to Take the Field as the Chattanooga Choo Choos

May 20, 2022

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Lookouts will take the field as the Chattanooga Choo-Choos and play against the Birmingham Black Barons during Negro League Appreciation Weekend at AT&T Field, sponsored by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in partnership with Food City and TVFCU. This two-day celebration will take place on

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Lookouts will take the field as the Chattanooga Choo-Choos and play against the Birmingham Black Barons during Negro League Appreciation Weekend at AT&T Field, sponsored by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in partnership with Food City and TVFCU.

This two-day celebration will take place on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28. On Friday night the team will cap off the night with a spectacular postgame fireworks show and on Saturday the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a commemorative Negro League Weekend seat cushion.

“We are excited and incredibly thankful for Food City and TVFCU for their support of this historic weekend at AT&T Field,” said Paula Wilkes, President of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. “It is important to honor the incredible legacy of the Negro Leagues and be able to share their story with the Chattanooga community.”

On Negro League Appreciation Weekend, the Lookouts will wear Chattanooga Choo-Choos jerseys to honor the minor league Negro League team that played at Engel Stadium from 1940 – 1946. The Barons will don the jerseys of the Birmingham Black Barons who were members of the inaugural Negro Southern League in 1920.

The two games between the Choo-Choos and the Black Barons will also feature appearances from former Negro League players including Alfonsa Holt, Sr., Reginald Howard, Russell “Crazy Legs” Patterson, Jimmy Tatum and Charles White. On each night the Negro League alumni will be honored in a pre-game ceremony and be available for autographs during the game.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center is inviting fans to join the Negro League Players for a meet-and-greet breakfast, sponsored by Erlanger, at 10:00 a.m. Tickets for this breakfast are just $10 and can be reserved by calling 423-266-8658.

Tickets for Negro League Appreciation Weekend are on sale now at! For more information on how to secure your seats to the season’s best games, call the Lookouts’ ticket office at 423-267-4TIX.


About the Chattanooga Lookouts

The Chattanooga Lookouts, a founding member of the Southern League in 1885, are the 2015 & 2017 Southern League Champions and the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Lookouts play their home games at AT&T Field, located on Hawk Hill in downtown Chattanooga. For more information, keep up with the Lookouts year-round at, or by following us on Facebook ( Lookouts), Twitter (@ChattLookouts) and Instagram.

Negro League Alumni Bios

Alfonsa Holt, Sr.

Alfonsa is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and has lived on the Southside of Birmingham for over 79 years. He was educated in the Birmingham School System at the great AH Parker High School. Alfonsa was a 4 – sports athlete and excelled at all four sports, baseball, basketball, football, and track. At PH, he played with some great ballplayers, James Ivory, Lee May (Cincinnati Reds), Walter Stove, JL Streeter, and Jessie Bass (Black Barons). Alfonsa patterned his game after Jessie Miller, Art Wilson, and Tommie Samples (Uncle). He was employed by Stockom Valve and Fitting and played for their industrial baseball team. Al is married to his best friend Shelly, and they have five (5) boys and two (2) girls. If he could advise the current day athlete, he would encourage them to play one sport and perfect that endeavor.

In 1963, Al got a chance to play with the Black Barons where he played outfield and third base. He currently serves as a deacon at his son, Dr. Al Moore’s Church – First Memorial Baptist Church. He enjoys laughing out-loud, relaxing, and watching wrestling and the Auburn Tigers.

Reginald Howard

Reginald was born in South Bend, IN, in 1934. He became a second baseman for the world-renowned Indianapolis Clowns in the 1950s. Howard traces his interest in baseball to his childhood when he would sell the Chicago Defender newspaper and pass Hodges Hotel on Chapin Street, where Negro League players often stayed.

Mr. Howard is one of the most articulate and passionate historians who can recount firsthand the experience of the industry of Professional Black Baseball. He can trace family ties to the game of baseball through his uncle, the late Hubert Mitchell, who played outfield in the 1920s for the Memphis Red Sox.

After his baseball career ended, he attended The University of Memphis and became involved in the real estate industry. He currently resides in Memphis, TN.

Russell “Crazy Legs” Patterson

Russell grew up in the South in the 1940s and 50’ s where he experienced racial prejudices, especially in sports. He began his competitive baseball career in 1956 at 17 with the Savannah Bears. This semi-pro team was one of the best Black baseball teams in a 3-state region. From there, he went on to play for the Indianapolis Clowns, where he got his nickname “Crazy Legs." The team played a loose style of baseball, and Patterson added to the entertainment with his antics- Jumping around and dancing.

After a stint in the Vietnam War, he returned to the U.S. in 1965 and joined the Paterson Black Sox in New Jersey until his retirement in 1978. He was awarded the most valuable pitching award in 1968. Patterson’s love for the game has continued in his later years as he shares his vast experience in coaching, motivational speaking, and teaching.

Charles White

Charles White was born in 1939 and grew up in Chattanooga. He played Little League with his brother Al for the McCallie Homes teams. As he advanced, he played on the first black team to participate at Engel Stadium versus local teams such as Tyner, Westside and the Southside nines.

Charles attended Howard High School (1960 graduate) and became the first 12 letterman in the history of the school. He participated in all four sports, three consecutive years, to earn that distinction. Towing the mound at an early age, he had the opportunity to play with the Chattanooga Stars from 1956-1960 and was coached by Clarence Dodd. During the years he played with the Stars, he pitched against the Indianapolis Clowns and the Satchel Paige All - Stars, as these traveling teams passed through Chattanooga. Most know of his son, Reggie White, who became the first All American from Howard High School.