Major League Baseball and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have partnered to create a new initiative that will keep the memories and accomplishments of Black and Brown baseball players alive.
They are collaborating to produce the “Negro Leagues 101” featuring a multimedia platform where contemporary former Black MLB players will honor former Negro League greats through vignettes that will pay homage to those who played the game but were never truly give their due among other ways to remember the
The initiative began on June 25 and will last until October 3, which is the final day of the 2021 regular season.
MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds threw out the first pitch on this virtual opening day by sharing the first set of facts about Negro League player Willie Wells to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National Leagues. This effort is part of a larger educational initiative led by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum called “Negro Leagues 101,” which includes a series of programs, lectures, and events along with other learning experiences, including a virtual tour of the NLBM.
“I don’t think there was ever a time that people didn’t want to know about the Negro Leagues,” said Bob Kendrick President of the Negro League Baseball Museum. “They just simply had no way to know about this rich history because it has never been fully documented in the pages of American History books.”
Each day’s fact is being unveiled by a Major League Player, Legend, youth baseball or softball player, or general representative of Baseball.
Social media platforms from MLB, the Major Leagues Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), and clubs will also support this campaign designed to educate and inform the public about the rich and vast history of the Negro Leagues and Black excellence in the sport.
“The Negro Leagues is a story of excellence and resiliency by individuals who accomplished extraordinary feats in the face of bigotry and discrimination,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Since Reynolds opened the series of tributes, several MLBbros from the past have shared memories of the unheralded legends of the game who opened doors for the future success of Black players on the diamond.
Former players Mike Cameron and Fred McGriff have offered their appreciation for what has often been historically marginalized efforts to preserve the impact of Black players of past and present on MLB.
Current MLB second-generation Black Knight Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pittsburgh Pirates also joined in the celebration on July 4. His father Charlie played in the majors and won a World Series as part of the Yankees Soul Patrol.
“A full understanding of Baseball includes knowing the history and legacy of the men and women in the Negro Leagues who paved the way for so many of us,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said.
Out with the new and in with the old as the Kansas City Monarchs, formally known as the T-Bones of the American Association of Professional Baseball for the independent league (partnered with Major League Baseball), kicked off their inaugural season Tuesday night, losing 7-5 to the Lincoln Salt Dogs. It was their first home-opener at Legends Field since 2019.
The Monarchs name plays an integral part in Kansas City, the surrounding areas, and nationwide, especially for people of color. The unique partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will see most proceeds from ticket sales and merchandising going to the museum, which will continue to educate the masses about baseball’s rich history in the black community.
The president of the museum, Bob Kendrick, told MLB Central that the whole idea was a rollercoaster of emotions for him. He said, “When Mark Brandmeyer, the owner of the T-Bones, approached me about the idea of rebranding the club as the Kansas City Monarchs, I wasn’t overwhelmed with the idea. But as we continued to have dialog, the idea became increasingly interesting to us.”
Last night was the first time a Kansas City Monarchs team was represented in the field of play since their disbandment in 1965.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder D.J. Stewart made his return to the starting lineup Tuesday night vs. the Tampa Bay Rays after suffering a tweaked hamstring this past Sunday.
Stewart started in right field and batted fourth in the lineup going 1-4 with one hit in the O’s 13-4 rout of the Rays. On the season, he is batting .207/.330/.310. Since May began, the 27-year-old is 5-27 with six walks, four RBIs, and one homer.
Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett made his return to the bullpen after serving a five-game suspension for his involvement in the bench-clearing incident with the Chicago Cubs. Garrett said it was pretty tough being away from his teammates.
Although Garrett traveled with the team, he spent most of his time in the hotel or up in the press box after pregame warmups. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “It sucked sitting up there watching my team battle without me. But you live and learn.”
He said, “I was surprised that I got that many games, but I’m not going to talk about it too much or throw others under the bus, but I think that the five games were steep. But it is what it is.” He added, “I understand they probably wanted to make an example out of me. I’ll be the example. It’s all good. I can take it.”
Before his suspension, Garrett was dealing on the mound as he retired 12/15 batters with six strikeouts. His return to action was thorough.
Amir Garrett strikes out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in his return from suspension
Per sources, the Texas Rangers will look to recall relief pitcher Demarcus Evans from Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express where he spent time working on his mechanics and his mind. While processing his fundamentals, he accounted for one win in four starts with 12 strikeouts.
Evans showed signs of dominance during his early stages in the Minor Leagues as he was named top reliever by Baseball America in 2019. One of the main reasons for the Triple-A assignment was a sustained Lat injury during the Rangers time in spring training.
Evans Made his big-league debut in the 2020 pandemic shortened season, allowing one run in four innings. The Rangers require another right-handed setup pitcher in their bullpen, said Manager Chris Woodward, who said the call-up is due to Evans great sighting in the minors.