Milwaukee Little League Manager Honored After Nearly 50 Years Of Youth Baseball


A man who has devoted nearly 50 years to a youth baseball league in Milwaukee’s inner city now has a county park named after him.

Eighty-three-year-old James Beckum has been running the Beckum-Stapleton Little League, since a Milwaukee pastor asked Beckum and Charles Stapleton to set up youth baseball teams to help keep kids out of trouble. Stapleton has passed away, but Beckum is still grooming the baseball diamonds and working with others to keep the league going.

At a weekend ceremony dedicating James W. Beckum Park, Beckum said the kids deserve as nice a playing surface as pros have.

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“I have always said: My field is just like the Milwaukee Brewers’. We’re going to have a good field so the Milwaukee Brewers can play on it, and the county is going to have a good field for the Brewers to play on.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urged Beckum to keep at it: “We look forward to working with you for the next 25 years.”

There are more than 300 kids signed up to play in the Beckum-Stapleton Little League. The great majority are African-Americans from the poorer neighborhoods surrounding what is now James W. Beckum Park.