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Foreman to throw first pitch before Civil Rights Game

HOUSTON -- Boxing legend and Houston native George Foreman will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's Civil Rights Game at Minute Maid Park. An official announcement will be made on Friday morning.

Foreman, a former world heavyweight champion who grew up in Houston's Fifth Ward and still lives in the Bayou City, continues to give back to the community through his George Foreman Youth & Community Center.

MLB and the Astros will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, scheduled for noon CT on Friday at the Hilton Americas Hotel.

Commissioner Bud Selig will speak at the event, which will honor Motown Records founder and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Berry Gordy, Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, and best-selling author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away on Wednesday.

Gordy, Brown and Angelou will each receive the MLB Beacon Award, which recognizes individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement, and the three will be honored on the field prior to the Civil Rights Game.

The Civil Rights Game began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition between the Cardinals and Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati ('09-10) and Atlanta ('11-12) as regular-season contests, and last year was hosted by the White Sox.

The game will be broadcast live in Houston via Comcast SportsNet and MLB Network without blackout restrictions. It can also be heard on KBME (790 AM).

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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