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Published on August 30, 2016

Legendary pitchers Downing, Law to visit UHS

Retired Major League Baseball pitchers Al Downing and Vern Law are scheduled to visit UHS Vestal on Wednesday, Aug. 31, to greet visitors and autograph baseballs.

The two ex-players are connected with “The Black Aces” charity organization.

On Thursday, Sept. 1, they will play in Security Mutual’s 2016 Jim “Mudcat” Grant All-Star Golf Tournament, at The Links at Hiawatha Landing, to benefit the Urban League and other local charities.

The former pitchers are tentatively scheduled to arrive at UHS Vestal on the Vestal Parkway at about 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 31, and to sign autographs until about 12:45 a.m.

Baseballs (while they last) will be provided to patients, visitors and staff who would like to get autographs.

The event is free and open to the public.

Alphonso Erwin "Al" Downing is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

He was an All-Star in 1967 and the NL Comeback Player of the Year in 1971.

Mr. Downing also is famous for surrendering Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run on April 8, 1974.

Vernon Sanders "Vern" Law is a former pitcher who played 16 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, from 1950 to 1951 and from 1954 to 1967.

Also known as "Deacon" Law, in 1960 he had a win–loss record of 20-9, with a 3.08 earned run average. He led the National League in complete games, made the All-Star team and won the Cy Young Award that season.

In the 1960 World Series, Mr. Law won two games to help the Pirates defeat the New York Yankees.

“The Black Aces” is a group of black pitchers who have won at least 20 Major League Baseball games in a single season.

The term comes from the title of a book written by former pitcher Mudcat Grant, one of the members of the group.

Mr. Grant, who has visited UHS on a number of occasions, has encouraged members of the group, along with other athletes and celebrities, to engage in charitable activities, such as the annual Security Mutual tournament.

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