BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The Binghamton Rumble Ponies have partnered with The Harriet Tubman Center for Freedom and Equity at Binghamton University to honor one of the first black professional baseball players.

On September 1, Bud Fowler will be receiving a memorial marker on the Downtown Binghamton Freedom Trail. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 6 p.m., outside the box office at Mirabito Stadium, prior to the Rumble Ponies game.

The Bud Fowler Marker is the second marker on the Downtown Binghamton Freedom Trail. The trail consists of key Binghamton locations on the iconic Underground Railroad and other notable abolitionist and civil rights sites. Each marker along the trail tells an individual story of courage and sacrifice, creating an anthology of late 19th century abolitionist and civil rights activity in the Southern Tier.

The first marker along the trail honors Harriet Tubman. The marker was installed at the Binghamton University Downtown Center in March and was made possible by a $400,000 state grant as well as an additional $100,000 donation from the City of Binghamton.

John W. Jackson Jr., better known as Bud Fowler, is one of the first black players to integrate into white professional baseball. His entrance into the sport predates Jackie Robinson by more than 60 years. Throughout his 20-year career, Fowler was known to be a skilled pitcher, batter, and infielder, with some journalists hailing him as one of the best pitchers they had ever seen play.

Fowler played for many teams throughout his career, including at least two stints with the Binghamton Crickets. He played for the Binghamton Bingos in 1887 and was chased off the team on account of his skin color after 34 games despite being the best player on the field. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.

The Rumble Ponies game starts at 7:05 p.m. and will be followed by fireworks. To purchase tickets, visit