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Art Williams


Inducted February 1982

Art William was considered a major league prospect as a baseball pitcher and was signed out of high school by the Detroit Tigers organization. He played in the minor leagues but inures spelled the end of his major league dream. Nevertheless, he made it to the majors anyway, in a role he had never dreamed of earlier-as an umpire. When his officiating work locally stamped him as potential pro material, he entered the pro ranks and in the 1975 became the first black man to umpire in the National League. He always gave all the credit to his wife Shirley, for the sacrifices she made to enable him to start new career despite heavy family responsibilities. Throughout his career, he was known for his great personal pride and integrity. Art died two years ago at the age of 45 but his name carries on as a son, Brian, is now one of the finest local high school athletes.