When Ron Hill learned that his great uncle was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame under the wrong given name, the Penn Hills man made it his personal mission to correct the plaque of Pete Hill.
After much public pressure, the Hall of Fame decided to unveil Pete Hill’s new plaque in a ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., yesterday, which was Pete Hill’s birthday.
“I kept staring at it,” said Ron Hill, whom I’ve known for more than a decade. “To me, it was like, ‘The mission is done. The history is complete. People know his real name now.’ He has more background than any other Negro League ballplayer, even more than Josh Gibson.”
Nearly two dozen Hill family members attended the ceremony where they were treated to an unveiling of the new plaque, a panel discussion involving baseball historians and a reception.
“They gave us the VIP treatment,” Hill said. “They went beyond. They really went out of their way. We met everybody who had something to do with the Hall of Fame. The hospitality was great. You couldn’t ask for a better day. They made it a personal day. If I would’ve (gone) in 2006, I would’ve just been another person because they had 17 people inducted. This was a family day.”
The event left Hill feeling like a celebrity for a day, as his wardrobe attracted attention from visitors to the Cooperstown museum. Hill wore a jacket with every Negro League team’s logo on it and a hat to match.
“People stopped me on the street and asked to take pictures with me,” Hill said. “It made my day. I’m going to always remember this day, and pass it along to my family.”