To honor the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Atlanta Braves are hosting their annual HBCU Night presented by Truist on Friday, August 27.
2019 was the last time the Braves held this event. COVID-19 rendered it impossible in 2020.
But the celebration and acknowledgement of Black excellence in a Black city is back.
The Braves — who sit comfortably, 5.5 games ahead in the NL East — take on another first place squad in the San Francisco Giants. San Fran has led the NL West almost all season and continue to fend off a loaded Dodgers squad.
The night is designed to highlight the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and recognize HBCU and Atlanta Braves alumni such as former MLB pitcher Marvin Freeman, outfielder Marquis Grissom, Ralph Garr, and the late Bill Lucas.
Freeman and Grissom are retired, but continue to help grow the game in the inner cities and help nurture the next generation of Black baseball players.
So they should be acknowledged for their athletic excellence, but also their contributions to developing young men.
Fans are invited to arrive early to enjoy special performances from the Atlanta Braves Heavy Hitters and House of Funk, the Morehouse College drumline in front of the Truist Community Corner at 6:00 p.m.
A special HBCU Night ticket package, available at www.braves.com/hbcu, will include a game ticket, a one-of-a-kind Atlanta Braves HBCU t-shirt designed by Support Black Colleges and a $3 donation to the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance.
In addition, the Braves Clubhouse Store has a collection of Braves and HBCU co-branded lids from associated universities across Braves Country including, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T University and Spelman College.
HBCU’s have tremendous talent available and MLB really needs to tap in more because the past proves that you can find some diamonds in the rough at Black Colleges.
MLB’s had its share of elite HBCU ballers over the years, most notably Hall of Famers Andre Dawson (FAMU), stolen base icon Lou Brock and Larry Doby, the second Black player to break baseball’s color barrier and the first in the American League.
The annual Andre Dawson Classic, in fact, showcases HBCU teams and is one of the many events orchestrated by MLB’s Diversity & Development team led by Tony Reagins and Del Matthews.
Its good to see MLB teams independently deciding to invest in the community and acknowledge HBCU baseball and the players who have paved the way.