Black History Month MLB club activities

February 1st, 2021

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.

• Braves Foundation – auctions

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.

• External discussion with Atlanta Braves VP Scouting Dana Brown

February 2nd at 7pm – 8pm

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.

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

Baltimore Orioles

• The Orioles are celebrating Black History Month with a variety of virtual activations to engage with fans, staff, and the Birdland community. Efforts will focus on showcasing the lasting impact of Orioles Legends and National Baseball Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Frank Robinson, as well as Sarasota native Buck O’Neil, who spent 70 years breaking barriers in baseball. The Orioles also will highlight the incredible work of local organizations that are preserving Black history in our communities, including the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro League Baseball, and Sarasota’s Newtown Alive.

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. 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 conversation will introduce these young scholars and athletes to some of our community’s inspiring Black professionals. The series will take place via Zoom, be moderated by Red Sox Foundation staff, and engage anywhere from 5-10 students to create an intimate setting to facilitate an authentic conversation.

Chicago Cubs

• The Cubs are sharing content across social media throughout the month of February that celebrates and honors the contributions Black Americans have made to the game of baseball, the club, its players and personnel. The influential figures highlighted include Buck O’Neil, Ernie Banks and Gene Baker, among others.

• Cubs RBI players and RBI athletes from several MLB clubs have the opportunity to register for a reading of “The Story of Negro League Baseball” as part of the RBI Book Club and participate in moderated group discussions starting today, Monday, February 1.

• Cubs RBI All-Stars will have the opportunity to journal or create submissions that honor historic or contemporary African American leaders for The Players’ Journal, an RBI Scholars Magazine. 

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. With support from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and photos from the White Sox archives, the organization also will highlight the history of Negro Leagues in Chicago and the East-West All-Star games, which were held annually at Comiskey Park. 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

• The Reds will join the celebration of Black History Month to honor the accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history. 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 the integration in the game. 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. Fans are encouraged to visit more information about the Reds commitment to positive change and inclusiveness plus at-home Black History Month activities for kids_. _

Cleveland Indians

• Cleveland will be running a series of Black History Month features across the club's social platforms throughout the month of February, highlighting the contributions of Black players and their impact on baseball history in Cleveland. Posts will spotlight alumni of the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Buckeyes franchises. The organization also continues its collaborative efforts as part of Cleveland's 3-Team Alliance for social equity and justice, which was formally announced in August in partnership with the Cavaliers and Browns. Representatives from the three franchises meet multiple times each week, as separate working teams have been formed around voting rights awareness, equitable education opportunities, and law enforcement relations. The latter group has been involved in extensive education and dialogue with NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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.

Detroit Tigers

• The Tigers have recorded the stories of four fans who recall memories of great African American Tigers players or related meaningful moments in club history. The interviews will be showcased on @Tigers social media platforms over the course of Black History Month. The Tigers are also working with local African American artists and graphic designers to create Tigers themed “Wallpaper Wednesdays” during the monthlong celebration. The artwork will feature Tigers players, logos, symbols, and artifacts, but also will allow the artists to put their own style on it and share their perspective on the impact of African Americans in Tigers history.

Houston Astros

• In honor of Black History Month, the Astros Youth Academy will host a series of virtual panel discussions starting in February. _Legends and Legacy_will feature stories and career highlights of prominent sports figures whose careers have made a profound impact in Houston and beyond.

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. During Black History Month, the Urban Youth Academy will be hosting the Rube Foster Classic for HBCU teams as well as highlighting various figures and players from the Negro Leagues via social media channels each week.

Los Angeles Dodgers

• The Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation will seek to continue to amplify the voices of Black leaders and organizations throughout Black History Month with multiple digital activations and an online auction to benefit the Social Justice Learning Institute. The club’s digital programming will include a conversation with the Boys Academic Leadership Academy centered on the film Just Mercy, a virtual classroom discussion with author Dr. Donald Grant on his book A Moon For Us All and an online panel to celebrate front office women of color in honor of National Girls & Women in Sports Day.

Miami Marlins

• Throughout February, the Miami Marlins will be celebrating Black History Month with a series of initiatives, beginning with virtual events with the Marlins Slugger Schoolhouses, partnering elementary schools from neighboring communities. Each event with the Slugger Schoolhouses will be led by Marlins players and alumni, and vary based on grade level, with a read along of the ABC’s of Black History for grades K-2, while the older students (grades 3-5) will participate in online lessons about prominent African American figures and their contributions to our country. Both activities will be informative and fun for all involved.

• Additionally, the Marlins will showcase local establishments that played a role in the advancement of Black history in South Florida with a social media video series. In recognition of the diverse front office staff, the organization will produce an employee spotlight series dedicated to Black History Month.

Minnesota Twins

• The Minnesota Twins are proud to celebrate the Black community and the important change-makers in our nation’s history. Aligning with the organization’s new giving charter – aimed at advancing social equity by empowering the full potential of our children, with a specific focus on eliminating racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps prevalent in K-12 education and overall youth development – the Twins will be bringing the Black History Month Challenge Powered by EverFi to its many nonprofit partners in the education space. Additionally, the Twins’ “Reading is Powerful” program will highlight and promote books by Black authors and/or works featuring Black main characters, while the Club’s ongoing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day book drive – with the opportunity to donate the book “Justice Makes a Difference” to schools across Twins Territory – continues until February 7. In collaboration with the organization’s newly-formed Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action (IDEA) Council, the Twins’ social media platforms – the main Club account (@Twins), Twins Diversity & Inclusion (@TwinsDiversity) and Twins in the Community (@TwinsCommunity) – will focus throughout February on celebrating Black history, and promoting how each and every one of us can help change the world.

New York Mets

• The New York Mets are conducting a variety of social activation efforts throughout February:

Hosting a special screening of the documentary The Other Boys of Summer, which depicts the story of racism, segregation and Civil Rights in America told the lives of Negro League players. Panel includes a special guest from the Front Office and current and former Mets players.

Expansive social campaign that will roll out during the month that will connect not only past and present Mets players but also former Front Office personnel, as we honor their legacies and their respective impact within their communities alike. 

Four (4) blog posts highlighting influential African Americans in Mets history that have passed, including both field and Front Office personnel.

Alumni follow up interviews to detail their career and their impact after baseball.

• Mini-series of personal videos from current players and alumni about what Black History Month means to them and how we can grow the game of baseball.

• Quote graphics from current and former players about what Jackie Robinson meant to the game of baseball and breaking the color barrier.

• Collaboration with Productions on a longer-form video tying in the legacy of Black Mets across the generations.

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. 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.

Pittsburgh Pirates

• The Pirates will go virtual for their fourth annual “Long Live Their Legacy” series, which honors Negro Leagues Baseball. The program, which has been a traveling, in-person presentation made available to Pittsburgh area schools and community groups throughout February, has been adjusted this year due to COVID-19 related restrictions. The Pirates will now make the presentation a virtual experience in order to ensure the educational initiative can still reach youth throughout the region. The “Long Live Their Legacy” presentations will take place every Wednesday throughout the month with three 45-minute sessions available and attendance open to all who wish to join. This Pirates initiative is designed to help educate area youth – ages 10 and above – about Negro Leagues baseball, its ties to Pittsburgh, and the significant influence it has had - and still has - on the game of baseball.

San Francisco Giants

• The San Francisco Giants and their joint-venture partner, Tishman Speyer, are working closely with the City of San Francisco to name two new streets at Mission Rock, the team’s development project near Oracle Park across from McCovey Cove, after award-winning writer, poet, performer, teacher and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou and International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer Toni Stone. Dr. Maya Angelou moved to California at the age of 14 and later spent time living in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. At 16, she became the first female African-American streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Toni Stone was the first woman to play on a professional baseball team with men, playing with the San Francisco Sea Lions, New Orleans Creoles, Indianapolis Clowns and Kansas City Monarchs.

• The Giants organization will participate in the City of San Francisco’s annual Black History Month closing ceremony. The event will virtually celebrate the African-American diaspora through guest speakers, music, spoken word and art. This free public event creates space to uplift the Black community and provide everyone an opportunity to learn more about African-American customs, celebrate rich traditions and support small businesses and local entrepreneurs.

• The Giants Community Fund will run a social media campaign honoring and amplifying Black voices that are part of their Fund family.

Seattle Mariners

• The Seattle Mariners will announce the first of an ongoing series of Community Impact Grants to organizations that promote racial justice and social equity through policy, advocacy and community-based initiatives. The first round of grants will be awarded in the areas of increasing positive health outcomes for marginalized youth in the state of Washington in the areas of play equity and mental health. There will also be grants to community partners actively responding to the broader impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on marginalized communities.

• The Mariners will use the team’s platforms to highlight the experiences of African-American players and members of the front office.

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. The team will Remember the Past by featuring 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. The team will Recognize the Present with content featuring Black players currently on the team’s roster. The team will Look Toward the Future with a focus on the team’s top 3 Draft picks from 2020.

• Additionally, the Cardinals Diversity and Inclusion Committee will provide a series of educational opportunities for employees, including a virtual celebration of Tom Alston which will be made available to the public. 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

• 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

• 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. Participating schools and scheduling for the Jamboree will be announced later this week.