The Flint Yellow Dogs of 1940, was one of the greatest softball teams ever assembled in Flint. No longer did Flint have to wait for the greatest sports event Thanksgiving Day. The Yellow Dogs had made softball the talk of the town. A team that drew great crowds all over the area and state. Defying the prejudice hospitality exhibited at times without retaliating verbally, the Yellow Dogs continued to get respect wherever they played by showing discipline and winning on their skills. They were noted for their electrifying chatter and team spirit. They took advantage of the mistakes and weaknesses of their opponents. From the top to bottom of their batting order they were a team with speed and offensive power. The Yellow Dogs featured one of the areas most balanced pitching staffs ever assembled.
Steve Oldfield, one of the areas most respected sports writers, once tagged the Yellow Dogs as the team closely approaching perfection.
The Yellow Dogs were Flint’s first black Class A champions, and also the first black Class A champions in the State of Michigan. As city Class A champions the Yellow Dogs won 19, lost 1. They were the regional and city play-off champions. The Yellow Dogs season record was 40 won, 6 lost. The team also set a softball attendance record of 4,500 fans in Atwood Stadium.
The Yellow Dogs manager,the late Harold Johnson, was a Greater Flint Afro-American Athletic Hall of Fame recipient.
There are four players still with us that played on the 1940 Yellow Dogs Team, they are:
Wayne Thomas, Captain
Eli Copeland, one of the teams leading hitters
Oliver “Twist” Roland, an outstanding pitcher
Robert Pea, ace of the staff and an outstanding pitcher.