Willie Fordham

Willie Fordham

1927 -


Interview Length: 56 minutes

Interview Date: October 6, 2009

Interview Location: WHBG Channel 20, 223 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA




Willie Fordham's family moved from Perry County to Carlisle when he was 17 years old, and he became the only African-American player on the Carlisle High School baseball team. Fordham signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952 and met Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges and Johnny Padres. From 1952-1953, he was among the first African-American players with the Harrisburg Senators, and then joined the Harrisburg Giants as a star pitcher, boasting a batting average of .400 when the Giants won the Eastern Negro League Northern Division title in 1954. Life after baseball included jobs with the state, marriage and raising three sons.