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Who was Ray Brown?

Ray Brown pitched for the legendary Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues in the years before the integration of Major League Baseball. Born and raised in Alger, Ohio, the baseball star was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006. Despite his achievements on the field, there is no mention of Brown in his hometown.


A multi-stage project in Alger now hopes to remedy this glaring omission, raising awareness for a locally forgotten son and creating a multi-use space that enhances the community.

In December 2020, Ada Herald writer Joe Schriner authored a column that described his surprise upon discovering that the small Hardin County village of Alger (pop. 800) was the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Famer Ray Brown. Schriner also lamented that there was no memorial, monument, or plaque to Brown in his hometown.

During the Fall 2021 semester, Ohio Northern history professor David Strittmatter tasked a team of his students with drafting an initial application for an Ohio Historical Marker to Brown. The process required the students to make contact with Alger village administrator Paul Osborne, who envisioned the marker as a mere starting point for a wider redevelopment plan of Alger Village Park.

Today, the Ray Brown project is an ongoing collaboration of three entities: the Village of Alger, the ONU History Program, and Hardin County Historical Museums, Inc. This student-created website celebrates the successes of the project, describes the various components of this local history initiative, and identifies future plans for Ray Brown Memorial Park.

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