Louisville baseball legend honored with headstone 48 years after passing

“This is a monument to that great and grand sport of a human being, that enduring champion, Mr. Felton Snow,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville baseball legend Felton Snow was honored with a headstone Thursday, 48 years after being buried in an unmarked grave in Eastern Cemetery.

“This is a monument to that great and grand sport of a human being, that enduring champion, Mr. Felton Snow,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Snow was born in Oxford, Alabama in 1905 and moved to Louisville when he was 10 years old. He died at the age of 68 on March 16, 1974 in Louisville.

Dozens of supporters and family members came out to Eastern Cemetery to share Snow’s story.

“Stories that will raise your consciousness about race relationships in America,” Larry Lester, Chairman of the Society for American Baseball Negro League Committee said. “For me, sometimes put a tear in your eye. That’s what Felton Snow means to us today.”

“He was a rock star in our family ever since I was little,” Snow’s nephew, Billy Snow, said. ”I played little league baseball. He always said, ‘get that bat off your shoulder son, get that bat off your shoulder son.’ He did everything the right way. He was a hard worker, he was honest. Like I said before, nobody in my family - I ever heard one bad word said about Uncle Snow.”

Snow described his uncle as, “not only a great professional baseball player, but also a professional man.”

According to a news release, the 5-foot 10-inch infielder’s career started in 1931 for the Louisville White Sox, a Negro League team, and then the Louisville Black Caps.

Snow also played with and managed Baseball Hall of Famers such as Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, and Buck Leonard.

Given the nickname “Skipper,” Snow had a more than 15-year career with the Nashville Elites who later became the Columbus Elite giants, the Washington Elite Giants, and the Baltimore Elite Giants.

Snow became a two-time Negro league All-Star and in his first year with the Baltimore Elite Giants, they won their first and only Negro National League pennant, the release said. He retired in 1950 after a 21-year career as a player and manager.

After Snow retired, he came back to his hometown, working at the Hubbard’s Lane barbershop in St. Matthews, spending his time inspiring young athletes. Between 1987-2007, the St. Matthew’s Little League Baseball Program honored his memory by naming a team after him.

”Felton Snow was part of my life as a young person,” Greg Galiette, President and CEO of Louisville Bats said. “He meant so much to me. Really, probably got me started on my love of baseball.”

Friday, the Louisville Bats will feature a tribute to Snow at Slugger Field prior to a game against the Indianapolis Indians.