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Feb, 2024

In Memory of Dwight Raiford, Harlem Little League Co-Founder

It is with a heavy heart that Harlem Little League announces the passing of Dwight Raiford, co-founder of Harlem Little League. Dwight was a longtime board member and continued to be an avid supporter, cheerleader, and advisor to the league in retirement.

In addition to his dedication to Harlem Little League, Dwight served nearly 25 years as a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, including a stint as the organization’s first African American chairman from 2001-04. He worked tirelessly to advance access to the sport for inner-city youth and was instrumental in the establishment of Little League Baseball’s Urban Initiative. 

Dwight and wife, Iris, with whom he co-founded Harlem Little League, were a constant presence on the sidelines during the springtime. His friendly demeanor and welcoming smile greeted thousands of Little Leaguers and their families, introducing them to the game he loved. 

In retirement, the Raifords moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Dwight’s penchant for community service continued. In January, he was elected as a trustee at Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

It is there his celebration of life will be held on Monday, March 4. A viewing takes place at 11am with services at 12 noon. A repast will follow. 

For those unable to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed

In lieu of cards and flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dwight’s name to the One Ebenezer Generosity Initiative.

Harlem Little League will dedicate this season—our 35th anniversary year—to Dwight’s memory and looks forward to honoring his legacy with our community this spring.

Read more about Dwight's contribution to the Little League Baseball community here.

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