“Hammerin” Hank Aaron’s Legacy Will Be On Full Display During MLB All-Star Weekend

“Hammerin” Hank Aaron’s Legacy Will Be On Full Display During MLB All-Star Weekend

We lost the legendary Aaron in January 2021. 

He was one of the greatest baseball players of All-Time and was a key figure during the Civil Rights movement as well.  Aaron, who holds the MLB record for All-Star selections with 25, famously broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in April 1974. 

His 755 homers stood as the Major League record for 33 years before Barry Bonds became the leader of the club.

 

 

The All-Star Game was originally scheduled to be held in Atlanta, home of the Braves and the uniform Aaron donned when becoming the home run champion.  But after voter suppression laws were passed in the state of Georgia, Major League Baseball decided to move the game to Denver, Colorado.

Even with the venue change, the initiative to honor the legacy of one of the all-time greats stays the same.  

First, the cleats:

Nike along with Ken Griffey Jr. partnered to design the “Air Griffey Metal Hank” cleats.  The cleat is exclusively given to each Nike athlete participating in the All-Star Game and honors Aaron’s legacy both on and off the field.

Different elements from each team Aaron played for are used in the design of the cleat:

The Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues red tongue and heel pull tags, the Milwaukee Braves crimson heel swoosh, the Atlanta Braves grey swoosh on the ankle-straps tabs, and mudguard pinstripes, and the Milwaukee Brewers blue and gold eye stay.

Aaron’s motto “Keep Swinging” is on the side of the cleat and his career stats are inside the shoe.  His “44” also replaces the normal Griffey “24”.

The sock liner features a “44” bottle cap, which refers to Aaron’s childhood penchant to practice his swing using found objects.

 

 

Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation:

Nike is also pledging $104,000 to the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation’s “4 for 4” programs, providing at least $4,000 per year for four years to students attending historically Black colleges and universities.

Aaron was famously quoted saying “I see these young kids coming along now and they are chasing their dreams.  It just so happens that their dreams cost a little bit more than mine did.  I am hoping they catch it and they can do the things they want to do in life.”

 

 

The Jerseys:

This season, MLB is doing something a little different with the All-Star jerseys. Instead of players wearing their team’s home and away uniforms, Nike has designed a uniform that will commemorate one of baseball’s highest honors – an All-Star selection.

Players will have stars on the back of their jerseys for each time they have appeared at the game.  It will also feature their team logo and a patch that pays respect to the host Colorado Rockies.  The National League is considered the home team and will be wearing white while the American League will wear blue.

These uniforms will be worn on Tuesday, July 13 during the game, but Monday Night Baseball will honor Hank Aaron in what is a highly-anticipated Home Run Derby. 

Introducing The All-MLBbro Futures Game Squad

Introducing The All-MLBbro Futures Game Squad

Brennen Davis, Xavier Edwards and some of the best young MLBbros in baseball will take the field for The 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Coors Field in Denver — on the same day that the first round of the MLB Draft will be held in the same city.

 

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Every year, the Futures Game is a showcase of the brightest young stars in baseball, the guys we really expect to carry the league going forward.

Our MLBbro and 2017 World Series MVP George Springer is one of the many notable alumni of this game.

Being selected to the game is truly considered an honor for young ballplayers, and gives our six young MLBbros (one won’t play due to injury) an opportunity to show the world the latest generation of Black ballplayers. 

MLBbros Kyle Lewis, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Jo Addell, Touki Toussaint, Hunter Greene and Future Games MVP Taylor Trammell all played in the same Future Games in 2018, so the game definitely features the future stars of MLB.

31 of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects are on Futures Game rosters

In honor of this year’s Futures Game, I comprised an All-Star team of my own.

I’d put this All-MLBbros Futures Team up against any prospect list you can find.

Anchored by fireballer Hunter Greene and the aforementioned Davis & Edwards, these young MLBbros will be making headlines soon.

 

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( * denotes players who are expected to play in the game.)

Pitchers

Josiah Gray*- RHP- Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 8 RHP prospect in MLB)

Hunter Greene – RHP – Cincinnati Reds (No. 10 RHP prospect in MLB)

Andre Jackson* – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 27 prospect in Dodgers organization)

Catcher

Bo Naylor – Cleveland Indians (No.3 prospect in Cleveland organization) 

First Base

This was the toughest position to find an MLBBro to fill. Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell is the most notable Black first basemen of late, but as I searched through each team’s roster list there were no current first base prospects to be found. 

I mentioned the need for defensive versatility before, and it seems like most black prospects are being placed where their athletic ability can be best used; shortstop or the outfield.

But with names like Frank Thomas, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, Dick Allen, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard … I mean I could really do this for a while…There are countless Black power hitters who’ve manned first base in the Bigs, so there’s surely another in the pipeline. If I’ve overlooked anyone, let me know in the comments. 

Second Base

Xavier Edwards* – Tampa Bay Rays (No. 3 2B prospect in MLB)

Third Base

Jordan Walker – St. Louis Cardinals (No. 7 3B prospect in MLB)

Shortstop

C.J. Abrams (replaced due to injury)- San Diego Padres (No. 3 SS prospect in MLB)

Outfielders  

Brennen Davis* – Chicago Cubs (No. 2 prospect in Cubs organization)

Michael Harris II* – Atlanta Braves (No. 9 prospect in Braves organization)

Jordyn Adams – Los Angeles Angels (No 3 prospect in Angels organization)

These Future stars will be going hard to prove that they are the elite prospects in the game, with hopes of one day playing on Tuesday night.

High School All-American Game Comes To All-Star Weekend In Denver | Second Generation Love

High School All-American Game Comes To All-Star Weekend In Denver | Second Generation Love

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced the roster for the second edition of the “High School All-American Game” scheduled at Coors Field on Friday, July 9th as part of 2021 MLB All-Star Week in Denver.

This premier All-Star showcase game will feature a roster of 39 participants who are some of the top U.S.-based high school baseball prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

If you had any doubt that MLB was serious about increasing its number of Black and Brown participants, then look no further than the recent appointments of Ken Griffey Jr. (Senior Advisor to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred with an emphasis on baseball operations, youth development and diversity) and former Stros manager Bo Porter (MLB Director of Coaching Development).

“Being selected to the High School All-American Game is an honor, “ Porter, a former MLB player, manager, coach analyst and executive, told MLBbro.com.

It places student-athletes into an intense competitive environment with their present and future competition. They will also be surrounded by coaches with hundreds of years of experience and wisdom.

I wish all of our High School All-Americans well as they continue towards conquering a lifetime goals of reaching their full potential in baseball and life.”

The roster boasts a diverse mix of athletes, from future MLBbros to the rising Latin Lords of MLB and is notably highlighted by:

  • Players from 17 States, including two from Colorado, and Puerto Rico
  • Sons of former Major Leaguers CC Sabathia, Andruw Jones and Lou Collier.

 

 

Additionally, eight of the All-American players will compete in the annual “High School Home Run Derby,” scheduled for Saturday, July 10th at 12:30 p.m. MT at Coors Field.  MLB.com will livestream this round, with commentary by Braun, Jonathan Mayo and Yonder Alonso.

The players will vie for a chance to compete in the Finals during breaks of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, including:

 

  • Elijah Green
  • Termarr Johnson
  • Jared Jones
  • Kaden Martin
  • Robby Snelling
  • Riley Stanford
  • Sal Stewart
  • Jason Torres

 

 

Several players featured in the High School All-American Game and High School Home Run Derby rosters have previously participated in diversity-focused development initiatives led by MLB & USA Baseball.

Out of these players, we are seeing a stream of second-generation MLB hopefuls emerging; from Cameron Collier (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series and Hank Aaron Invitational) son of former Major Leaguer Lou Collier to CC’s boy Carsten Sabathia (Breakthrough Series and Hank Aaron Invitational) and former Braves slugger Andruw Jones’ son, Junior (DREAM Series)

Other MLB diversity products being featured include Elijah Green (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series and Hank Aaron Invitational, which is also supported by the MLBPA); Termarr Johnson (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series and Hank Aaron Invitational); Former Tennessee National Title- winning QB Tee Martin’s son, Kaden Martin (Breakthrough Series); Aiden Moffet (Breakthrough Series); and Kassius Thomas (Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series and Hank Aaron Invitational).

Full Roster

The High School All-American Game will be led by an All-Star cast of coaches, including Managers Clint Hurdle (former Colorado Rockies Manager) and Clint Barmes (former Rockies infielder, 2003-2010),  who will be supported by Chad Cordero (2005 MLB All-Star), Roy Hallenbeck (Retired Head Baseball Coach, Millville – N.J. – High School), Jason Maxwell (former MLB infielder; 18U National Team Manager, USA Baseball), Todd Pratt (former MLB catcher, 1992-1995, 1997-2006), Jerry Royster  (former MLB infielder, 1973-1987) and Bianca Smith (Boston Red Sox Player Development Coach).

The High School All-American Game will serve as a feeder for the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, the primary identification event for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, which is slated to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL in September.

The PDP League will take place in late July at the USA Baseball National Team Complex in Cary,  N.C.

Baseball continues to develop tremendous talent through its diversity programs and shape the future of MLB in a positive, inclusive, and multi-talented fashion.