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Sports

Negro League Star Frank Grant Finally Gets Tombstone In Clifton, NJ

A view of the Negro League Entrance Exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. (credit: Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport)

A view of the Negro League Entrance Exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. (credit: Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — One of the greatest black baseball players of the 1800s no longer lies in anonymity in a New Jersey cemetery.

The Negro Leagues Grave Marker project has erected a marble headstone at Frank Grant’s grave in East Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clifton.

The project’s founder, Jeremy Krock, told The Bergen Record that Grant died a poor man in New York at age 71 in 1937.

“Everyone knew he was buried in a pauper’s grave in Clifton,” he told the paper.

The International League and Negro League second baseman was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

“He was so poor he couldn’t afford a headstone,” Gary Sciarrino, general manager of the cemetery, told The Record. “We would show them the location of the grave, even though there was no monument.”

Hall of Fame librarian Jim Gates told the newspaper Grant was unique because he played on segregated and non-segregated teams.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: After 70 Years, Frank Grant’s Grave Has Marker

“He was certainly among the greatest black players in the 19th century,” he said.

This is New Jersey’s second grave-related story in as many months to hit the sports scene.

It was revealed in May that Jets fan Gary Martin had been caring for Vince Lombardi’s grave site at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown Township, N.J. “The grave was in total disarray,” said Martin. “You couldn’t even read his name. It was totally overgrown.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)