Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Hall of Famer & Ambassador for the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF) Ken Griffey Jr. jointly announced today new, exciting components of the inaugural “HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile & Powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation,” an upcoming MLB All-Star Week experience for baseball student-athletes from Division-I programs at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU).
- Presenting Sponsorship: Seattle-based T-Mobile, the Official Wireless Partner of Major League Baseball, will be the presenting sponsor of the HBCU Swingman Classic in 2023 and 2024.
- LIVE National Broadcast: MLB Network will air the HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile LIVE, beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET. The broadcast will include MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds, Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims, and HBCU Sports Journalist Symone Stanley as the sideline reporter. Griffey Jr. will join the broadcast from each dugout throughout the game.
-- The HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile also will stream LIVE on MLB.com.
- Tickets On-Sale: Tickets for the HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile, at T-Mobile Park, are now on-sale at AllStarGame.com. Proceeds from the sale of each $10 ticket for GA seating will benefit the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint initiative by MLB and MLBPA to support efforts that focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and internationally.
- Roster Unveil on MLB Network on Friday, June 9: The rosters of 50 HBCU players participating in the HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile will be revealed LIVE on MLB Network on Friday, June 9, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. The reveal will be accompanied by vignettes from HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile coaches and Griffey Jr.
The HBCU Swingman Classic will highlight the history and legacy of HBCU baseball programs while also providing 50 HBCU baseball players with the opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage. The student-athletes have been selected by a committee that will include Griffey Jr., representatives from MLB and MLBPA, and scouts. They will participate in a variety of MLB All-Star Week and general community-focused activities.
MLB All-Star Week in 2023 will be hosted by the Mariners in Seattle from Friday, July 7 through Tuesday, July 11. The HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile is the latest major event added to the schedule of the annual Midsummer Classic, joining the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game, All-Star Celebrity Softball Game, the MLB Draft, the High School All-American Game and a series of youth & fan engagement activities.
The HBCU Swingman Classic presented by T-Mobile joins the annual Hank Aaron Invitational as youth-oriented and diversity-focused programs powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation,
Historically, many HBCU alumni have reached Major League Baseball, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Lou Brock as well as Marquis Grissom, Rickie Weeks, Jr., Ralph Garr, Vince Coleman, Tommie Agee, Tom Alston, Earl Battey, Joe Black and others. Hall of Famer Larry Doby is also an HBCU alumnus but did not play baseball at the collegiate level.