GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Local baseball legends J. C. Daniels and Larry Dixon broke color barriers in Greenville in the late 1960s playing for the Greenville Babe Ruth Team at Guy Smith Stadium.

Dixon and Daniels were honored for their trailblazing efforts on Wednesday at the complex during a local baseball game, where Daniels threw out the first pitch.

“I think representation matters,” said Xavier Daniels, J. C. Daniels’s nephew. “When he got to the pros, when he got in the Major Leagues, he experienced some racism, as far as how hard he had to fight to get a starting position and even some of the coaches discriminating against him, didn’t even like the fact that he was on the team.”

Xavier Daniels said his uncle fought through the hard times and still managed to have a profound influence on his family.

“He had a great impact on me, and his kids too we all grew up playing baseball, we come from a baseball family which was very rare during the era that he came up in,” Xavier Daniels said.

Not only did he impact his family, but also Eastern North Carolina.

Legendary baseball coach and current J.H. Rose High School skipper Ronald Vincent said the duo paved the way for future ball players.

“It’s meant a lot, thousands … thousands of Black kids have played Pitt County Babe Ruth since J. C. and Larry came along. Somebody had to have courage to do it and J. C. and Larry had the courage to do it.”

“People just in today’s time knowing about my uncle, you know I’ve known him all my life but to see people mention his name and people speaking of him in such high regard when it comes to baseball, it definitely impacts me and impacts our family,” said Xavier Daniels.