This is an excerpt from the latest edition of the Ben's Biz Beat Newsletter, bringing Minor League Baseball business and culture news to your inbox each and every Thursday. Check out the full newsletter HERE. Subscribe HERE....
Introducing 'The Nine'
Minor League Baseball has announced the launch of “The Nine,” a new, Black-community focused outreach platform specifically designed to honor and celebrate the historic impact numerous Black baseball pioneers made on the sport, provide new opportunities for youth baseball and softball participation, further diversify the business of baseball and embrace millions of passionate fans throughout MiLB’s 120 communities nationwide.
Named for the number Jackie Robinson wore during his only season playing in MiLB with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946, The Nine will connect MiLB teams’ existing, Black-community focused development efforts with new national programming and future special events in a coordinated and centralized campaign.
Flying Squirrels keep Richmond 34 Legacy alive
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....
M-Braves, JSU partnering to salute the Negro Leagues on Saturday
JACKSON, MS - Jackson State University is partnering with the Mississippi Braves for their family and friends night at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Trustmark Park. The first-time collaboration will also honor the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. "We are very excited that we are finally in...
Saints Announce Winners Of Inaugural Jimmy Lee Umpire Awards, Headlined By Larry Gallagher, As Part of Minor League Baseball's "The Nine" Initiative
ST. PAUL, MN -- (August 5, 2022) - Umpires are rarely honored for their hard, often underappreciated work, let alone with an award named for a man as well-respected as the late, great Jimmy Lee. To provide the recognition they so richly deserve, the Saints have introduced an initiative to...
Yard Goats celebrate HBCUs, Negro Leagues
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, 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...
The Day Jackie Came To Town
In the Sun Herald Sports section on Wednesday, October 21, 1953, the headline of a column read “Jackie Robinson All-Stars Slate Biloxi Appearance.” In the five-paragraph announcement, readers were informed that an opportunity to see “Big League baseball stars in action” was coming to the Gulf Coast on November 2...
St. Paul exhibit celebrates ‘Black Pioneers’
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...
Remembering When Blue Wahoos Honored Pensacola Team Breaking Little League Color Barrier
On an August night in 2018, Jerry Cowart had traveled more than 750 miles from West Virginia to Pensacola, so he could reconnect with special history. He was a pitcher-infielder on the 1955 Orlando Kiwanis, an 11-12-year-old Little League team, which agreed to play the Pensacola Jaycees in a game...
Bradenton extends Nine Devils celebration
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...
The Show Before the Show: Episode 346
Check out the latest episodes of The Show Before the Show, MiLB.com's official podcast. A segment rundown is listed below, in case you want to skip to a particular section. Like the podcast? Subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts. The podcast is also available via Spotify, Stitcher and other...
Torii Hunter Jr. Journeys From The Gridiron To Rocket City
After a year off and a lot of time to reflect and practice, Torii Hunter Jr. was finally ready to get back in the game. To start the season, the outfielder was assigned to the Rocket City Trash Pandas and was gearing up to start in his Double-A debut on...
Black History Month: Deacon Jones & Bernie Smith Make History
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers continue Minor League Baseball’s celebration of Black History Month with a pair of history making minor league managers....
Saints celebrate barnstorming Colored Gophers
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...
- Express help unlock Austin Black Senators' history
- Saints celebrate barnstorming Colored Gophers
- Smith looks back on first season with Red Sox
- Allen's final days in Minors marked by fear, racism
- Minors sparkled with 'new' stars in 1949
- Hammer time: Aaron's Minor League career
- Spokane Indians in the Negro Leagues
- Lugnuts honor dominant Page Fence Giants
- Integration spread from field to stands
- Questions plague Peeples' trailblazing story
In celebration of Black History Month, teams across Minor League Baseball are looking back at five of the best Black players to suit up for their club. While some of these standout performers went on to long and illustrious Major League careers, others simply had great Minor League careers or, in some cases, just one incredible season that went down as “a year for the ages."