Willie B. Moore

1986 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Son of Rueben and Millie Moore
Wife: Evelyn Moore
Sons: Alvin, Gerald, Jimmy, Billy, Ray

Without the acceptance of blacks in the City League, there was little hope that they would ever have an opportunity to reach the professional leagues in baseball, football or basketball. Therefore, for blacks, the emphasis turned to softball. When the first black team was admitted in the City Class-A League, Willie Moore was one of the players. He was part of softball’s rise to prominence as Flint’s leading pastime in an era when blacks were not role models. So many athletes of his time and circumstances did not have the opportunity to be so honored for their accomplishments and contribution in sports.

He played in many state tournaments from 1935 through 1950:

The Yellow Dogs 1940 State Champions
M&S Orange 1945 State Champions
M&S Orange 1945 National Regionals Champions
M&S Orange 1945 National Toumament-runners-up
One of the top four hitters in the 1945 World Tournament
M&S Orange 1946 Majors State Champions.
Moore was one of the top hitters in winning the State Majors Tournament.

Willie Moore missed by one vote of playing the short center position on the 1945 All-World Tournament Team. In 1945 he went through the State, Regionals and World Tournament with one error.

In 1947 Moore became the first registered black umpire in Flint baseball and softball. The M.H.S.A.A. chose Moore to umpire four Michigan High School State Tournament final games (1971, 72, 73, 74).

He received a certificate for officiating in the Michigan High School Athletic Association, Inc. He called balls and strikes for more than 26 years. Although he chose one of the most controversial jobs in sports. . umpiring … he continued to be one of Flint’s most respected and best liked sports figures throughout the state.

After retiring from softball and umpiring, Moore started bowling at age 41 and for his achievements he has received many honors. His accomplishments include high games of 288 and 289 and a top series of 694

He was a city singles 1960 tournament champion. The 1978 Men’s City Bowling Tournament was named in his honor. He served as an officer in the Flint Major Classic and Negro Bowling League. In 1985 Moore was inducted into the Flint Bowling Hall of Fame and this year, 1986, he was inducted into the Michigan Softball Hall of Fame.

Willie Moore passed his love of sports and fair play to his five sons as well as other youth throughout the City of Flint.