After January’s induction of former Zephyrs pitcher C.J. Nitkowski, the New Orleans Baseball Hall of Fame will be adding thee new members on Saturday.
The three new inductees are A.B. Freeman, David Malarcher and Butler Powell, who will be honored in a ceremony at the New Orleans Zephyrs’ game Saturday against the Nashville Sounds. First pitch is at 6 p.m.
Malarcher, a former Negro League baseball player-manager and native of St. James Parish, will be the second former Negro Leaguer to be added to the New Orleans Baseball Hall of Fame, following Herb Simpson’s induction in 2014.
“Dave had an outstanding career,” Zephyrs director of broadcasting Tim Grubbs told the Louisiana Weekly after Malarcher’s induction was announced. “He has all of the traits of who should be in the Hall of fame. As a coach, he led his teams to several championships. He deserves to be recognized for his hard work and dedication.”
Malarcher, who was given the nickname “Gentleman Dave” during his playing days, played in the Negro Leagues during the 1920s and won Negro League World Series titles in 1926 and 1927 as the player-manager for the Chicago American Giants.
“He did everything to earn that nickname,” Gloria Malarcher-Youngblood recalled in stories told to her about her great uncle Dave. “He didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink, he didn’t curse and he was just the nicest guy you would ever want to meet.
Freeman was a New Orleans businessman who headed a group that bought the New Orleans Baseball and Amusement Company — the owners of the New Orleans Pelicans baseball team at that time — for $203,000 in 1937. This was the first time the city’s professional baseball team was locally owned.
Ten years later, Freeman and his partners sold the team to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Powell was a former catcher for Loyola from 1956-60, who hit .354 while the team compiled a record of 46-24 during his time there.
Powell went on to sign with the Milwaukee Braves and played six years of professional baseball before retiring.