The annual HBCU Swingman Classic is just five months away.


Tickets will go on sale now due to the great turnout from last year’s inaugural event. Last year it was in Seattle, this year it’s at Globe Life Field, home of the World Series Champion Texas Rangers,


50 players from historically Black colleges and universities will showcase their skills nationally, while spotlighting the legacies of HBCU programs. The classic is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will air live on MLB Network.


The Swingman Classic held its first event on July 7th, 2023, with some of baseball’s biggest names helping to bring it to fruition and promote it on a large audience. 


MLB Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr, supported the swingman classic and MLBbro was there every step of the way. 


Griffey-Backed Swingman Classic Becoming Gateway For HBCUs


With Griffey now a main supporter of this combine, many other Black baseball greats were inspired to help this classic and get more eyes on Black College baseball and the deep talent pool that participates in at these schools. 


 As a representative, Griffey knows that HBCU talent needs exposure and the mainstream market. With his presence, he can bring them to the table. 


“It gives an opportunity for these guys to be seen; plus, they want to continue their baseball career like everyone else,” said Junior, who had 13 All Star appearances and 10 Gold Gloves throughout his career. “This is an opportunity for these guys to be out there on a big stage, to have fun with some guys who played the game at a high level and learn some things.”


For years HBCU athletics have not received the proper recognition from Major League Baseball, despite examples of great players ascending from those programs into MLB stardom. 



This combine and game during the MLB All-Star festivities will put the MLB on notice as some great baseball players are in the HBCU system. 


HBCU players are well-represented in the MLB. Players such as Ricky and Jemile Weeks, Joe Black, Lou Brock, Andre Dawson and more. In the 2023 MLB draft, there were three players from HBCUs who got drafted. 


Former HBCU stars Trey Paige, and Xavier Meachen (10th Round, Florida Marlins), were selected for the 2023 draft and were also at the first annual Swingman Classic, which undoubtedly put them on new radars and elevated their stock.  


“I was super excited I got the invite,” Paige, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 17th round out of Delaware State, told MLBbro last year. “This shows that you can go to an HBCU and still have some recognition with big-name schools,” Paige said. 


Paige plays mostly the infield and has bounced around the minor leagues for most of the year. Just like last year, there will be a ton of MLBbro talent on the field. Maybe even more, considering that this year might have a much bigger and better turnout. 


Even though the Swingman Classic is set to showcase some of the brightest young talents, this is also an opportunity to showcase the HBCU baseball alum in attendance.  


Ricky Weeks Jr played and attended Southern University A&M.  While being a standout baseball star during his time in college, Weeks managed to put Southern A&M on the map. Weeks was one of very few to be an HBCU alum during his time in the majors. However, this shows that there is talent in HBCU athletics. 



With this new recognition that HBCU athletes are getting now, this event can be another route for great baseball talent from underpromoted schools to become Major Leaguers stars. 

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