Black History Month In Focus: Discover What MLB Clubs Have Planned

Major League Baseball, its Clubs, and media entities (MLB Network and MLB.com) will observe Black History Month 2021 in a variety of ways, across our sport, with the following goals in mind:

  • To meaningfully engage and support African American people, institutions, and communities across the Nation;
  • To celebrate and recognize the rich history of African Americans in baseball; and
  • To showcase the voices of African American youth, professional players & coaches, historians, and others connected to the sport.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • The D-backs Black Professionals & Allies Team Player Resource Group in collaboration with MLB’s Black Professionals BRG are hosting a virtual career showcase featuring African-Americans in baseball. Speakers will include D-backs scout James “Bump” Merriweather, Sports Agent Lonnie Murray, Former General Manager Dave Stewart, Jerry Hairston Jr., and additional guests to be announced. 

Atlanta Braves 

Braves Social Activation 

  • Baseball Cards: Every Wednesday in February, the Braves will release seven baseball cards on their social platforms of the most prominent Black players in Braves history.

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  • Black History Month-inspired online charity auction with proceeds benefiting the Braves Foundation and the Atlanta Braves RBI program. The auction will include: Black Lives Matter baseballs, game-used “42” player jerseys, 1974 memorabilia, etc.

  • Dana Brown, Atlanta Braves VP of Scouting will lead a discussion around opportunities off the field in baseball, the future of Black baseball and current topics with current Atlanta Braves RBI players on February 2nd, 7 pm-8 pm

 

  • Behind the Braves podcast with Touki Touissant to discuss The Players Alliance, the next generation of Black baseball and the upcoming 2021 season.

Boston Red Sox

In recognition of Black History Month, the Red Sox have partnered with the Museum of African American History and the GBH Forum Network to present an hour-long virtual event featuring former Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn, author and sports writer Howard Bryant, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum curator Ray Doswell, and Red Sox Vice President and Senior Club Counsel Elaine Steward. 

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The panelists will celebrate the 100+ years of the Negro Leagues, recognize the names and racial trials of past generations, and examine the future of baseball and race. The event, which is moderated by reporter Crystal Haynes, takes place Monday, February 1, at 6 p.m. EST. 

The event is free and a link to register is available here.  

In addition to the panel discussion, throughout February, the Red Sox Foundation will engage youth in their RBI and Red Sox Scholars programs through a weekly “Black History Month Speaker Series.” 

These 30-minute conversations will introduce these young scholars and athletes to some of our community’s inspiring Black professionals. 

Chicago White Sox

  • Marking the Negro Leagues 101st anniversary on February 13, the White Sox will honor the Chicago American Giants by raising the team’s flag at Guaranteed Rate Field. The flag recognizes the American Giants’ first three Negro National League pennant wins (1920-22) and its Negro Leagues World Series victories (1926-27), and praises the team’s trailblazing spirit and profound impact on both baseball and society. 

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Throughout the month, the team will spotlight momentous firsts with influential White Sox figures, including Dick Allen, Bob Boyd, Sam Hairston, Minnie Miñoso, Al Smith, Ken Williams and others.

Cincinnati Reds

  • At the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, visitors can take a self-guided tour to explore artifacts and exhibit elements significant to African-American history and learn about notable players and the Cincinnati Tigers Negro League team. 

 

  • Virtual school visits are planned to discuss baseball’s role in the Civil Rights movement and integration. Members of the Reds Black Professionals Business Resource Group will participate in the My Brother’s Keeper Leadership Series featuring Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and others sharing experiences working in sports management. 

 

  • The Reds Community Fund will host a virtual panel discussion on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Reds Social Media will be showcasing Reds Hall of Famers and alumni during the month of February. 

Colorado Rockies

  • The Colorado Rockies are planning 10 activation days over the course of Black History Month, highlighted by daily quotes and stories, showcasing local Black-owned businesses, and roundtable discussions featuring Rockies players and staff, which is a collaborative effort with AT&T SportsNet.

Kansas City Royals

 

  • The Royals are hosting a virtual discussion with Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, alongside team co-owner Karen Daniel and representatives from the Kansas City Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy and the Royals alumni/player base.

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  • During Black History Month, the Urban Youth Academy also will be hosting the Rube Foster Classic for HBCU teams.

 

Minnesota Twins

 

  • The Minnesota Twins are challenging Summer Slugger students to learn more about the great Toni Stone. After researching more about Toni, students will write a short essay or poem on what they learned. Five winners will be selected for a special autographed Twins item.

READ MORE: Rod Carew Fought Death To Save Others In His Amazing Post-MLB Journey

 

Oakland Athletics

 

  • In observance and celebration of Black History Month, the Oakland A’s will make donations to the Oakland African American Museum and Library and Marcus Books, the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore that is celebrating its 60th year. Along with a donation to the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, a cultural institution in Oakland that preserves and promulgates the history, ideals, and legacy of the Black Panther Party, the team will host a virtual event to discuss the life and legacy of Dr. Huey P. Newton

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  • Throughout the month the Club will use their social platforms to foster conversations and highlight A’s Black players, alumni, and executives, local nonprofits, community figures, and Black-owned businesses. 

 

Philadelphia Phillies

 

  • In celebration of Black History Month, the Phillies are hosting an “African Americans in Sports” virtual panel in February for their RBI and Urban Youth Academy players. The event is part of a series of Phillies youth baseball and softball sessions that have been offered to players this past off-season. 

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Pittsburgh Pirates

 

  • The Pirates will go virtual for their fourth annual “Long Live Their Legacy” series, which honors Negro Leagues Baseball. 

READ MORE: Chris Archer Is Looking To Break Out With The Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Seattle Mariners

 

  • The Mariners will support four black-owned businesses each week of February. 

 

St. Louis Cardinals

 

  • The St. Louis Cardinals are celebrating Black History Month on the team’s social media platforms following the themes Remembering the Past, Recognizing the Present, and Looking Toward the Future

 

Remember the Past — Features content focused on Tom Alston, the first African-American to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as content celebrating the legacy of the St. Louis Stars of the National Negro League. 

Recognize the Present — Content featuring Black players currently on the team’s roster.

Look Toward the Future —  Focus on the team’s top 3 Draft picks from 2020.

These events are in addition to the Cardinals’ year-round dedication to supporting Black Youth through Redbird Rookies, the Cardinals Care grant program, the Diversity Awareness Partnership’s EXPLORE Baseball Youth Career Immersion program, and the team’s diverse internship program.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers Youth Academy is preparing to celebrate Black History Month in February with the annual Black History Month Baseball Camp presented by Nike and its inaugural Black History Month Jamboree on Saturday, February 6. The camp will run from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and be followed by the jamboree, which will be three baseball games between six area schools. 

Social Media Vignettes that will run on Rangers pages, Rangers Youth Academy pages, and Rangers Foundation pages featuring 

  • History of Black players past and present on Rangers
  • Wallpaper Wednesdays
  • Vignettes featuring Rangers Academy athletes about Black History
  • Breaking Barriers essay contest for Rangers Youth Academy athletes
  • Employee Engagement Opportunities as well as Employee Highlights
JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.