August 27, 2005

August 27, 2005

Pittsburg State University will induct former Negro Leaguer, George Sweatt into its Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame during ceremonies today.

PSU's Class of 2005 is headlined by a pair of former All-Americans, football standout Steve Simmons (1973-76) and softball standout Lisa Hill Boone (1992-95).

Charles Purma (1921-25) and Gerald "Nate" Beaman (1947-50), both accomplished three-sport athletes, also join the Hall of Fame.

Chuck Smith, a former PSU football and baseball player who has enjoyed a decorated career as football coach and athletic director at St. Mary's-Colgan High School in Pittsburg, also joins the Hall of Fame as a meritorious service inductee.

Two new members - George Sweatt and Elmer "Lee" BeDillon - will be inducted in the Hall of Fame's newly created "Legacy" category. The category focuses solely on athletes from the school's first 50 years (1903-53) in an attempt to bolster the school's rich heritage from its first half-century.

Sweatt was a ground-breaking pioneer as the school's first African-American student-athlete to letter in the sports of basketball, football and track and field.

The Humboldt native earned numerous honors in the sprints and set a school record in the shot put in track and field for the Gorillas. He lettered in football in 1921, missing All-KIAC honors when injuries cut short his playing season. Sweatt also lettered in basketball in the 1920 and 1922 seasons.

After earning a teaching certificate from PSU in 1922, Sweatt embarked upon a professional baseball career. He became the only regular player to appear in the first four Negro League World Series with the Kansas City Monarchs and the Chicago American Giants (1924-27).

During his professional playing years, Sweatt taught sixth grade and physical education at the Cleveland School in Coffeyville. Following his pro career, he worked for the postal service in Chicago and managed several semiprofessional baseball teams on weekends. He retired from the postal service in 1957.