|Bill Greason throwing out the first pitch in Oklahoma - Facebook|
I had the pleasure of interviewing Greason in 2008 about his historical 1952 season in Oklahoma City. He was sold directly from the Black Barons to Oklahoma City shortly after returning from his service in the Korean War. He spoke frankly about the hardships he faced and how he handled them.
"They gave you a hard time, even from the stands. A couple of places especially. When you know who you are and you have talent, you don’t worry about what people say. Sometimes it encourages you to do better and work harder. ... When people call you names, and you know who you are, you don’t worry about what they say. It gives you more determination to succeed."
The 87-year-old Greason was honored on August 30th by the Oklahoma City Redhawks, commemorating the 60th anniversary of his debut. Berry Tramel of NewsOK.com provides an excellent video interview with Greason about his barrier breaking entry into baseball, his military service, and career in the ministry.
His appearance was heavily covered by local media outlets, spearheaded by Tramel's coverage.
Celebrating a Deserving Pioneer in OKC - Jenni Carlson
The Reverend Returns - Brendan Hoover
Oklahoma City's Jackie Robinson returns - Berry Tramel
Bill Greason: Owner Jimmie Humphries paved the way - Berry Tramel
Reverend Bill Greason: A memorable night at the ballpark - Berry Tramel