Elton Gladney

Elton Elliott1 Gladney, born September 30th, 19092 in Little Rock, AR,3 4 was a Negro baseball player from about 1932-1941.5


Gladney was the son of Andrew Gladney and Mattie (nee Herndon) Gladney grew up in Jefferson County, AR,6 and in Little Rock, AR.7

Gladney was primarily an infielder throughout his baseball career. He began playing as early as 1932 with the Kinloch Stars, a semi-pro team in St. Louis.8 Later that season, Gladney also briefly played at the major league level during short stint with the Indianapolis A.B.C.'s of the Negro American League.9 In five known games, he went 0-15 at the plate.

Elton Gladney, 1956.
Elton Gladney, 1956.
Gladney continued to play semi-professionally around St. Louis for several years, including with the Kinloch Stars in 193310 and the St. Louis Blues in 1935.11 Later in 1935, he played with the Claybrook Tigers12 , a team also billed as the Memphis Red Sox during the inaugural 1935 National Baseball Congress semi-pro tournament in Wichita, KS.13

Beginning in 1936, Gladney's baseball career shifted to Buffalo, NY.14 He was recruited to play in the semi-pro Washington League of the Buffalo Municipal Baseball Association, first with Sanders in 1936, and then Donner Hanna in 1937. In 1938, Gladney joined the Buffalo Aces, an associate member of the Negro National League. He continued to play in the following years with various other Negro semi-pro teams in Buffalo, including the Buffalo Colored Tigers from 1940-194115 and the Dan Montgomerys of the 1944 Washington League.16

Gladney became well-known for his involvement with the United Rubber Workers Union.17 He was also later a field representative of the AFL-CIO.

Gladney died in November 16th, 1984 in Missouri18 19 and was buried Saint Peter's Cemetery in Normandy, MO.20


"Elton Gladney, 145 E. Utica St., has been named an international field representative for the AFL-CIO United Rubber Workers. President of Buffalo Local 222, URW, for the last 20 years, Gladney is a former professional baseball player. He played with the St Louis Stars of the National Negro League and other teams. He came to Buffalo to play ball in 1935 and took a job a year later with the US Rubber Co. "because my legs were wearing out." Gladney plans to move with his wife and two children to Akron, Ohio, the union's headquarters."21

"A former baseball player with the St. Louis Stars of the National Negro League, Elton Gladney, 52, was named an international field representative of the United Rubber Workers Union. Gladney, president of the Union's Local 222 in Buffalo since 1942, will move to Akron, where he will serve existing locals and organize new ones.""22

"Elton Elliott Gladney, 75, of St. Louis, Mo., formerly of Little Rock, a field representative for AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, died Friday. Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Mary Gladney; two daughters, Mrs. Nell Marie Williams of Buffalo, N.Y., and Mrs. Margaret Williams of Cleveland, Ohio; a sister, Mrs. Alice Gladney Vault of Little Rock; a grandchild, three great-grand-children and a great-great-grandchild. Funeral will be at noon Wednesday at Austin-Layne Mortuary, Jennings, Mo. Burial will be in St. Peters Cemetery, St. Louis.''23
1 Arkansas Democrat, 11/20/1984, p.9A
12 Iola Register, 8/10/1935. Lists "L. Ladney" at shortstop for Claybrook.
13 Buffalo Courier-Express, 8/23/1935, p.16. Gladney is listed as third baseman for the Claybrook Tigers playing under the team name "Memphis Red Sox" in the first National Baseball Congress tournament in Wichita, KS.
14 It seems likely that Gladney and several other Claybrook Tigers players were recruited to play in Buffalo following Claybrook's defeat of the Buffalo Blue Coals during the 1935 National Baseball Congress tournament in Wichita.
15 Lockport (N.Y.) Union Sun and Journal, 7/5/1940, p. 12; 7/21/1941, p.7
19 Arkansas Democrat, 11/20/1984, p.9A
23 Arkansas Democrat, 11/20/1984, p.9A