School Closings

Friends try to help former baseball star evicted from apartment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Lonnie Harris still remembers his baseball days and some of those he played with — "Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson," he says.

He still signs his Red Sox baseball cards even though he's a few months shy of 89 years old.

Back then, in the 1950's, he was known as "Showboat" when he played for the Negro Baseball League for the Memphis Red Sox.

But as of Thursday afternoon, this self-proclaimed baseball legend, veteran and former Humes Junior High teacher was looking for a place to live.

Harris was recently evicted from Glendale Park Apartments near Park and Getwell, where he says he's lived for eight years.

He said he gave a large amount of money to someone else living in the complex and the money somehow disappeared. That forced him to not have money to pay his rent.

"I'm totally embarrassed," he said.

Despite what he's going through, he's still full of laughter, and ready to talk about his baseball days.

Harris played center field and was known for his flashy way of catching the ball.

"I really put on a show for the fans," he said.

And before he played in Memphis, he went to the Birmingham Black Barons, where he won a batting title.

"I played baseball all the time in the Army," he said.

Harris says those who know him at the complex are doing what they can to help him now.

They're making sure the baseball legend is not left out in the cold.

Thursday, some of Harris' belongings were out on the curb, and he was working to find a permanent place to stay.

The manager of the complex said everything in the eviction was done properly through the court system.