Takoma Park in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Coach Extraordinaire & Civil Rights Leader
As a young man growing up on Ritchie Avenue, he was a talented baseball catcher. He left Takoma Park for a short stint with the Negro Baseball League before returning in 1937 to take a job as a custodian at the then all-white Montgomery Blair High School. He began coaching basketball at Blair on Saturdays and his first group included boys who were caught by police breaking into the school gym. Mr. Lee, as they called him, became their mentor.
Over the years he created a full-fledged athletic program of baseball, basketball and football. It encompassed generations of boys and girls, black and white. Mr. Lee's routine was to pick up children at their homes and pile them into his wide-body station wagon. In the era before seat belts, they crammed in, often 20 at a time, eager for another afternoon on a sports team. Police often enlisted his assistance, and many teenagers avoided criminal records if they joined one of his teams.
The Boys and Girls Club that he founded
To recognize those efforts, the field at Takoma Park Middle School, where he later did custodial work, was named in his honor in 1981. He was inducted posthumously into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2006.
Support for this project was provided by Maryland Program Open Space, City of Takoma Park, Montgomery County Public Schools and Historic Takoma.
Erected 2014 by Maryland Program Open Space, City of Takoma Park, Montgomery County Public Schools and Historic Takoma.
Location. 38° 59.187′ N, 77° 0.786′ W. Marker is in Takoma Park, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Piney Branch Road. Touch for map. Marker is in Lee Jordan Field just north of Takoma Park Middle School. Marker is in this post office area: Takoma Park MD 20912, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Lee Jordan Field (here, next to this marker); Sligo Creek Waterworks (approx. 0.4 miles away); "The Presidents Tree" (approx. half a mile away); Belle Ziegler Park (approx. half a mile away); Living in Takoma Park (approx. half a mile away); The Metropolitan Branch and Takoma Park (approx. half a mile away); Walt Penney Field (approx. half a mile away); The Blair Family and their Silver Spring Homes (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Takoma Park.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Education • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 10, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.