Here Lies Country Jake Stephens

Grave marker of Paul Eugene Stephens

I recently drove from Philadelphia to York Pennsylvania to visit the grave of Negro League ballplayer Paul Eugene “Country Jake” Stephens.

Stephens played shortstop for four championship teams: 1923-25 Philadelphia Hilldales, 1930 Homestead Grays, 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords and 1934 Philadelphia Stars.

After his playing days were over, Stephens returned to York and opened a taproom for two years.  He also ran an auto-tag registry business from 1939 until 1955 and later became a deputy sheriff in York County.

I contacted the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project to make them aware that Stephens’ grave makes no reference to his segregated baseball career with hopes that either a plaque or marker will be created and displayed in sports justice.

Only time will tell.

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