Memorial services for former Negro League baseball player and longtime community activist Sammie Haynes, who died at 77 last week in Los Angeles after a bout with cancer, will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the First African Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
Haynes will be remembered for his days as a catcher with the Kansas City Monarchs from 1942-45, and playing with the likes of such Negro League greats as Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson.
"I didn't know him then, but after talking to him about it for so long I felt like I was there with him," said Madeleine Haynes, who met Sammie in 1960 and married him in June of that year.
Haynes will also be remembered for his community work in Los Angeles.
His baseball career came to an abrupt end after he developed glaucoma in 1945. After managing the Atlanta Black Crackers from 1945-47, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a furniture salesman, then a finance company before co-founding Safair Credit Collection and Management School in 1964. A year later, he was totally blind.
"It didn't slow him down one bit," Madeleine Haynes said.
Haynes later founded the International Society of Athletes, which assists athletes within the community. He traveled to schools giving motivational speeches and worked with the South Central Los Angeles Special Olympics and local little-league teams. Aug. 28, 1977, was proclaimed Sammie Haynes Day by former mayor Tom Bradley in recognition of his contributions.
Said Haynes' his grandson, Ronald Haynes: "He wasn't really a star until he stopped playing baseball."