PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks, @LosDbacks) will celebrate Juneteenth, which honors the ending of slavery in the United States, this Saturday at Chase Field with a pregame ceremony to cap off a series of events this week.
Earlier today, members of the front office enjoyed a private viewing of the movie “The Other Boys of Summer,” a documentary about civil rights, racism and segregation in America told through the lives of Negro League baseball players. Filmmaker Lauren Meyer spoke with the front office before and after the screening, which was organized by the team’s Black Professionals and Allies Team Player Resource Group (TPRG). The D-backs front office will be closed on Friday in observance of the holiday.
On Saturday at 8:30 a.m., the team will host a clinic in conjunction with Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church as part of the Reviving Baseball in Innercities (RBI) program. The clinic will take place at Randy Johnson Field at Eastlake Park and include former D-backs pitcher Stephen Randolph as well as several current Minor League players as instructors. The D-backs Jr. RBI program introduces youth under the age of 12 to baseball, with a focus on the fundamentals. The program is free to all participants at both Boys & Girls Clubs across Metro Phoenix and Pilgrim Rest.
On Saturday night, Pilgrim Rest’s Nancy Taylor will sing the National Anthem before the game and the church’s choir will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Buddy Strong of the Dave Matthews Band and former Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church keyboardist will catch the ceremonial first pitch from Reverend Dr. Terry Mackey of Pilgrim Rest, which recently celebrated its 99th anniversary.
Among the other organizations honored during pregame ceremonies will be the Greater Phoenix Urban League, George Washington Carver Museum and Base Arizona as well as Lois Brown, the Director of ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.
Chase Field will feature a special food item on Saturday, an authentic Fried Apple Pie recipe of Edna Lewis, pioneer African American chef who was the first African American woman from the South to publish a cookbook that did not hide her name, gender or race. This limited dessert item will be available at Taste of Chase (near section 130) and Red Hot (near section 322).
Last year, the team launched D-backs for Change (dbacks.com/change), which recently created and launched the D-backs for Change Mentorship Program that will match diverse college and post-graduate students with a D-backs Team Player for one full year to assist with mentorship and career development. This program will support the organization’s efforts in diversifying job candidate pools and preparing students for internships and employment opportunities in the sports and entertainment industry.