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George B.
Democrat NC 1

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  • Honoring Baseball Legend Carl Russell Long

    by Representative G. K. Butterfield

    Posted on 2015-01-20

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    BUTTERFIELD of north carolina in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, today it is with a heavy heart that I rise to commemorate the life of Mr. Carl Russell Long, a passionate leader, public servant, and trailblazer who played baseball in the Negro League and later went on to become the first African American to integrate the Carolina League. Mr. Long will be greatly missed in his community of Kinston, throughout our great state of North Carolina, and by his fans across the country.

    Carl Russell Long was born May 9, 1935 in Rock Hill, South Carolina to William Long and the former Ella Griffin. In 1952, he joined the Negro League and began playing in the outfield for the Birmingham Black Barons and a number of other teams until joining the Kinston Eagles in 1956 where he became the first African American to play in the Carolina League.

    During his career, Mr. Long played for at least eight baseball teams and had more than 1,600 at bats. He had 57 home runs and a .275 batting average. In 1956, he was named the Carolina League's All-Star and was also recognized as the League's RBI leader.

    After retiring from baseball, he returned to the City of Kinston where he continued to be a trailblazer. He became Lenoir County's first African American Deputy Sheriff and, in 1970, became the first African American detective to work for the county sheriff Carl Long was a member of the Negro League Players Association and in 2003 was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was one of only a dozen former Negro League players who were invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

    Mr. Long leaves behind his loving wife of 58 years, Ella Long, two children, Sotello and [[Page E83]] Cynthia Long Hightower, two grandchildren, Latoyha Polk Washington and John Polk, and one great-grandson Breylan Polk.

    Mr. Speaker, Carl Russell Long was a loving husband, father, and public servant. His untimely passing will surely be felt by all of those whose lives he touched. He will forever be missed but never forgotten in the City of Kinston, across North Carolina, and by baseball fans everywhere.


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