Don Porter

Don Porter, born about 1941 in College Station, AR,1 was a Negro League baseball player from about 1957-1958.2 He was the nephew of Andrew Porter and Merle Porter.3


Don Porter was the son of Levi B. Porter and Elma (nee Weekly) Porter.4

Porter was a pitcher and outfielder who appeared as a teenager in the final years Negro baseball. About 1957-1958, he played with the Indianapolis Clowns and New York Black Yankees barnstorming teams that toured together.5 6

Porter currently resides near Sacramento, CA.


"Some folks say February is Black History Month, but to myself and quite a few other folks, that's the status of every month. Nonetheless, there was a special feeling Saturday afternoon at McAuliffe Field, where the second annual honorary Negro League game was played to celebrate former players Elmer Carter and Don Porter. The number of folks in attendance never was large, but the spirit among baseball lovers of every hue was high. Parents brought their children to meet and greet the two former Negro Leaguers. Porter and Carter live in the Sacramento area but played in the Negro League during much different times. Porter, 68, was a pitcher and outfielder with the New York Black Yankees in 1957 and the Indianapolis Clowns in 1958. Carter was a catcher with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1931. Porter said he didn't know he was being honored by the Morris League and its founders, twin brothers Donte and Dominic Morris, until recently. However, Porter was at the field early Saturday afternoon and displayed his normal gracious and respectful manner while being asked for photos and autographs. Porter, like virtually every other former Negro Leaguer, is accustomed to adaptations and adjustments. However, the experience of playing in the Negro League is one he'll always remember with pride. "First of all, we were all black and all friends who had a lot of fun playing ball," said Porter, whose nickname was "Rookie." "I was only 16 when I played with the Black Yankees and 17 when I played in Indianapolis," he said. " 'Rookie' became shortened to 'Rook' because I was so young. "What wasn't fun was the travel. It was all by bus, and because of segregation, we couldn't stay in some of the towns we played in. Of course, we couldn't eat everywhere, either. So it wasn't anything for us to grab some lunch meat and red soda pop." Porter said the love of the game made up for many of the discriminatory practices Negro Leaguers faced. "It had to be the love of the game because we weren't paid very much," he said. "Yet there were some guys who played 30 years in the Negro League. I remember (Ted) "Double Duty" Radcliffe played a long, long time. He'd pitch the first game of a doubleheader and catch the second game. That's how he got that nickname." After playing in the Negro League, Porter said he soon joined the military, but he continued playing baseball for years. "Our team played in the first game to open Renfree (Field)," Porter said of the baseball facility off Interstate 80 and Auburn Boulevard. "We played in the Rural League and the County League and the Night League around here. We played winter league ball around here and Larry Bowa, Bob Oliver, Ken Forsch, Dusty Baker, Jerry Manuel and Leron and Leon Lee would play with us in that league. (Agent) Scott Boras also used to play with us when he was a student at (Pacific)."7
1 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/18/2004
3 Sacramento Bee, 5/10/2006. Don' father, Levi B. Porter was Andy and Merle's brother.
4 Don was the grandson of Rosie Scott Weekly (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/1/1994). Levi B. Porter married Elma Weekly in 1935 (Arkansas Marriage Index).
7 Sacramento Bee, 2/22/2009