By John Yellig
Daily Progress staff writer
Thursday, November 9, 2006
In an emotional ceremony renaming the Ninth-10th Street Connector after
Charlottesville native and football legend Roosevelt "Rosie" Brown
on Wednesday, Mayor David Brown called the dedication a long-needed
recognition of the city's black community. He also gave Brown's
widow, Linda, a key to the city.
"It ... recognizes a member of the African-American community, which
doesn't always get recognized," the mayor told a group of Brown's
friends and family, who nodded their heads in approval.
Roosevelt Brown was an offensive tackle for the New York Giants from
1953 to 1965 and played in the legendary 1958 National Football League
championship against the Baltimore Colts and quarterback Johnny Unitas.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975. He died in
Ernie Accorsi, the Giants' general manager, attended the dedication
with other members of the team's management. He said Brown was
exceptional both as a friend and an athlete.
"I saw him play, and I idolized him as a player," Accorsi said.
"But to those of us who worked with him, he was a friend, a scout and
In a surprise ending to the ceremony, held at the Hampton Inn on the
corner of what is now Roosevelt Brown Boulevard and West Main Street,
Mayor Brown presented Linda Brown with a key to the city.
The widow, obviously surprised by the gesture, gasped, "My God,"
and tearfully thanked the mayor.
"The key to the city - who would have guessed?" said Brown, who
lives in Columbus, N.J. "I just wish my husband was here to see this.
I loved him so much."
Brown said Linda Brown was the first person to whom he has given a key
to the city in his two years as mayor.
He credited Charlottesville native John Gaines with getting the
connector renamed after Brown. Gaines, a past president of the
Charlottes-ville NAACP, has lobbied for renaming the street since 1999.
The street, opened in 1998, connects 10th Street at West Main Street
with Ninth Street at Cherry Avenue. It replaced Ninth Street as the
primary passage across the CSX railroad tracks.
Contact John Yellig at (434) 978-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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