Johnny “Schoolboy” Taylor, Bulkeley class of 1934A, was one of the greatest pitchers to ever put on the Bulkeley uniform. On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the Bulkeley home field was dedicated to the memory of this Bulldog Hall of Famer.
A Varsity track star, he began his baseball career in his senior year. He fanned 25 in the Bulkeley title game that year, and his record stands to this day. Taylor went on to a professional career in the Hartford Twilight League, and was scouted by the Yankees and the Athletics, but was passed over because of his race. He played for the Savitt Gems as well as the New York Cubans of the Negro National League, where he pitched on the same staff as Louis Tiant, Sr. (father of the famed Red Sox hurler). Taylor’s strikeout victims included Hall-of-Famers Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and Oscar Charleston.
It is fitting, and well overdue, that Bulkeley’s home field is named for one of the best to ever grace the uniform.
Taylor’s daughter, Lynnette Taylor-Grande was on hand to honor her dad. Schoolboy’s grandson, Robert “Bobby” Taylor-Grande threw out the first pitch. Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez was on hand, as were board members Craig Stallings and Ayesha Clarke.