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Flying Squirrels keep Richmond 34 Legacy alive

This weekend's events are flagship of far-reaching initiative
September 16, 2022

On a Saturday morning in February, 62 years ago, a group of Black college students walked into Thalhimers department store in downtown Richmond, Virginia, sat down at the counter of its Richmond Room restaurant and -- just as they had every reason to expect -- were refused service and arrested.

Yard Goats celebrate HBCUs, Negro Leagues

Double-A Hartford hosts three-day ‘leveling the playing field’ event
June 22, 2022

While the Hartford Yard Goats were hosting the Akron RubberDucks at Dunkin’ Donuts Park last week, staffer Tiffany Young was spending time away from the stadium, educating the community on institutions that have been essential to the Black experience and history.

#9: Celebrating the legacy in Daytona Beach

On Jackie Robinson Day and every day, Tortugas pay tribute
April 15, 2022

On Jackie Robinson Day, what better place to turn one's attention than the stadium that bears his name? Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Daytona Tortugas, opened as City Island Ballpark in 1914 and is now the oldest stadium in all of Minor League Baseball. Jackie Robinson played there during

St. Paul exhibit celebrates ‘Black Pioneers’

Stadium's City of Baseball Museum salutes rich local history
March 7, 2022

From Minnie Miñoso to Buck O’Neil, Triple-A St. Paul has an established track record of honoring the history of baseball and the key figures involved in the game’s integration. And in 2019, shortly before the club’s Minor League affiliation, the organization introduced a unique way to celebrate the local history

Bradenton extends Nine Devils celebration

Negro League club had memorable 19-year run at McKechnie Field
March 2, 2022

The Marauders will continue an important tradition that honors the history of Black baseball in their own backyard. “Bradenton Nine Devils Tribute Night,” which honors the team that played at McKechnie Field from 1937 to 1956 in the independent Florida State Negro League, will be celebrated for the second consecutive

Full circle: Bud Fowler set for Hall enshrinement

19th-century Black baseball trailblazer grew up in Cooperstown
February 23, 2022

Bud Fowler, the first Black player in professional baseball history, grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y. He’ll return there on July 22, 2022 -- 109 years after his death -- when he receives his long-overdue induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fowler's career, improbable and wholly unique, began in the

Saints celebrate barnstorming Colored Gophers

St. Paul also pays respects to 'Daddy,' the club's legendary founder
February 14, 2022

Before the first National Negro League was formed in 1920, Black baseball teams were making substantial strides to grow their popularity across the country. One of those teams is not widely regarded in the history books, possibly because it was only around for four years, but the legacy of the

Lugnuts honor dominant Page Fence Giants

Lansing will continue to pay homage to successful 1890s squad
February 7, 2022

The Page Fence Giants only existed for four years, but they were one of the most dominant Black baseball teams of all time. Founded in 1894 in Adrian, Michigan, by Bud Fowler and Grant “Home Run” Johnson because of the color barrier, the Giants won over 100 games in each

Express help unlock Austin Black Senators' history

Event that began last year will continue to bring stars to forefront
February 3, 2022

Downs-Mabson Field in Austin, Texas, currently serves as home to the Huston-Tillotson University Rams baseball team, but in the early 1900's, it was the stomping grounds of the Austin Black Senators. Named after Dr. Reverend Karl Downs, president of Huston College from 1943 to 1948, and George Mabson, manager of

Smith looks back on first season with Red Sox

Minors’ first Black female coach held versatile role for FCL club
February 2, 2022

The end of Red Sox fantasy camp in Fort Myers was the beginning of another busy week for Bianca Smith. And she’s had a lot of those over the past year. Smith, 30, became the first Black female uniformed coach in the Minor Leagues when she was hired by the

Robinson's legacy enhanced by sculpture

Brooklyn monument sets greater example with its message
10:00 AM EST

After his promotion to High-A Brooklyn in August, Mets prospect Jaylen Palmer found a new addition to his pregame routine. Approaching the main entrance of the Cyclones’ Maimonides Park sits a monument depicting a “simple gesture [that] challenged prejudice and created a powerful and enduring friendship.” That sculpture immortalizes the

Allen's final days in Minors marked by fear, racism

Future MVP took lessons learned from Jim Crow South to Majors
February 16, 2021

It's easy to forget that less than 20 years separated Jackie Robinson's integration of affiliated baseball in 1946 and Dick Allen's Triple-A debut in 1963. Between the time Robinson set foot in Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947 as the first Black man to play in the Majors and Allen's

Hammer time: Aaron's Minor League career

Baseball icon honed his skills in Eau Claire and Jacksonville
January 26, 2021

Henry Aaron, one of the most talented and accomplished players in the history of professional sports, passed away Friday at age 86. It is difficult to overestimate how much Aaron meant to the game, and to American society at large. As many have pointed out in the course of eulogizing

Spokane Indians in the Negro Leagues

September 18, 2020

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Negro Leagues were founded by baseball luminary Rube Foster in 1920 and ran until the 1960s. After struggling through the Great Depression, the Negro Leagues reached their zenith in the late 1930s and early 1940s with legendary players like Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, and Satchel

Hoskins broke barriers in Texas League

Right-hander continued integration of Minor League Baseball
April 13, 2020

April 15, 1947 might be baseball's moment to cherish, but the historical significance of that date transcends the sport. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond on a chilly spring afternoon at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field as a member of the Dodgers, he left an indelible mark not only on the

Questions plague Peeples' trailblazing story

Outfielder demoted after breaking Southern Association barrier
January 29, 2020

Minor League Baseball is known for its rich history dating back more than 100 years. While much has been written about the best teams and top players who have graced the Minors, there remain many stories either untold or largely forgotten. Each week, will attempt to fill that gap

Integration spread from field to stands

Minor Leagues helped hasten overdue changes in South
January 15, 2020

It was 10 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and even three years after the breakthrough Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education, but in places like Durham, N.C., that didn't matter much. Segregation was still pretty universal.Things were starting to shift

Class D trailblazer turned to teaching

Jones was first African American in the Georgia-Florida League
December 5, 2019

Minor League Baseball is known for its rich history dating back more than 100 years. While much has been written about the best teams and top players who have graced the Minors, there remain many stories either untold or largely forgotten. Each week, will attempt to fill that gap

Righty Spearman finished what he started

Hurler tossed 33 consecutive complete games from 1957-59
November 1, 2019

What Al Spearman was able to accomplish during a remarkable 18-month period in the late 1950s remains one of the most unheralded feats in all of Minor League Baseball.Yet the fact that he pitched an astounding 33 consecutive complete games seems to remain a bittersweet memory for the durable right-hander,

Tugerson made pitch for integration in '53

Shunned by Cotton States, led Smokies to MSL championship
October 29, 2019

Jim Tugerson is an overlooked name in the baseball annals. Instead of being widely remembered as a leading figure in the integration of America's pastime, he is the mostly forgotten roommate of a Hall of Famer.Six years after Jackie Robinson broke the Major Leagues' color barrier -- and six years

Robinson made mark in Minor Leagues recalls Jackie's path, legacy on centennial of his birth
10:00 AM EST

This article was first published on July 31, 2019. Thursday marks 100 years since the birth of perhaps baseball's greatest hero. Jackie Robinson's lifetime of accomplishment was so remarkable that to consider a single aspect of it undermines the whole. To focus on him as a socio-political figure is to

The year after Jackie, Ritchey integrated PCL

This season marks 70th anniversary of San Diegan's breakthrough
February 21, 2018

John Ritchey never wanted to make history."He just wanted to play baseball and be judged on his ability and not the color of his skin," baseball historian Bill Swank said. In a better time or in a better world, he may have gotten his wish. But Ritchey was an African-American man

Ashford broke barriers behind a mask

Umpire spent 15 years in the Minors before he achieved dream
February 7, 2011

Emmett Ashford was stationed at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in 1945 when he heard the news on the radio about a former Army officer signing with a baseball team in Brooklyn. Years earlier, Ashford had tried his hand at playing ball in college and with a semi-pro team. He

Jethroe blazed way through Triple-A

Negro Leagues star became 33-year-old Rookie of the Year
February 2, 2011

He was well past his prime by the time he got a chance in integrated ball, but Sam Jethroe didn't waste a minute once he got to the big leagues. At 33, he became the oldest player to win a Rookie of the Year award, a mark that still stands.

Stars help christen Aaron Museum

Hall of Famers help ring in shrine at legend's childhood home
April 14, 2010

MOBILE, Ala. -- Hank Aaron's old house will always have a home, thanks to an unprecedented effort by his native city's Minor League baseball team. The Mobile BayBears of the Double-A Southern League have transported the legendary slugger's childhood residence to the grounds of aptly named Hank Aaron Stadium, a