Tag: MLB

Inaugural HBCU World Series Starts May 24th, Aims to Diversify College Baseball

According to Yahoo! Sports, the first of what organizations intend to be an annual event will feature the North Carolina A&T Aggies and Southern Jaguars at the Chicago White Sox Guaranteed Rate Field. It will join The Andre Dawson Classic as ways to promote HBCU schools, which are slowly watching their baseball programs fold.

Erwin Prentiss Hill, CEO of Black College Sports Group 360 (BCSG), told HBCU Sports he wants the event to “promote education opportunities to urban youth” who may not know of the schools or how to navigate the college admissions process.

 From HBCU Sports:

“Greatness comes from historically black colleges and universities. The bottom line is to get more urban youth back to our HBCU’s, so that talented young men and women can add to the legacy of our outstanding predominantly black universities.”

Baseball’s decline in lower-income communities

The cost of playing sports can add up quickly for families. It’s especially difficult to have to pay for a glove, cleats, bats and even uniform costs, now that there are fewer programs supported through park or school programs.

Participating on a travel team is even costlier and can require more shuttling around from parents, who might already be working multiple jobs to get by. Little League is so high-stakes it’s must-see TV in August.

Billy Witz covered the lack of African-American players on HBCU rosters Monday for the New York Times and noted the decline of baseball through the eyes of Bethune-Cookman athletic director Lynn Thompson. Thompson said places where he played sandlot ball in the 1960s were paved over for basketball courts and parking lots.

Recently, however, the percentage of black players on Major League Baseball‘s opening-day rosters in 2018 was the highest in six years at 8.4 percent. Between 2012 and 2017, 20 percent of first-round draft picks were African-American. Those numbers are in part due to MLB’s focus on its Urban Youth Academies that started in Compton, California, in 2006 and its Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, launched in 1989.

“It’s been a huge investment for us,” Renee Tirado, MLB’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, said last spring. “Obviously growing the game amongst our players is a priority, so that uptick has definitely been from a concerted effort.”

Perhaps a focus on HBCU baseball will bring those numbers even higher in the coming years.

To read more: https://theshadowleague.com/ncat-southern-inaugural-hbcu-world-series/

Christina Lewis’ All Star Code Nonprofit Raises Over $1 Million to Expand STEM “Summer Intensive” Program for Boys of Color

by Selena Hill via blackenterprise.com

All Star Code (ASC) will carry out its mission to educate, prepare, and place young men of color in the tech industry through its fifth annual “Summer Intensive” STEM summer program. The nonprofit announced Tuesday that it raised over $1 million for the growth and development of the program. ASC also received a record number of applicants—nearly 1,000 for just 160 spots. According to Christina Lewis, who founded ASC in 2013, the organization is on track to educate a total of 10,000 young black and Latino men in tech and entrepreneurship by 2022.

“All Star Code’s impact continues to spread as we establish a pipeline of talented and ambitious young entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the tech industry,” said Lewis in a statement. “Tech is one of the most influential and lucrative industries, so it’s vital that Black and Latino young men are better represented in this space to capture its economic opportunity.”

BOYS WILL LEARN WEB DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN STEM SUMMER PROGRAM 

ASC’s flagship “Summer Intensive” program is a free six-week course that teaches students web development skills and about entrepreneurship. It also empowers students with soft skills and a network of like-minded peers. It will take place in New York City and Pittsburgh.

The effectiveness of All Star Code’s curriculum is amplified by corporate partners like AT&T, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, MLB, and Medidata, as well as the academic institutions Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, which provide operational and financial support and services. Through these partnerships, students will gain access to mentorships, speakers, and professional work culture.

Since its creation in 2013, about 300 students have participated in ASC’s flagship summer programs. Of the summer intensive students, 95% of All Star Code graduates have gone on to four-year colleges, while half of the graduates have created their own business or tech-related project, reads the press release.

Lewis says she was inspired by her late father, iconic businessman Reginald F. Lewis, to launch ASC as a vehicle to diversify the tech space. “I channeled his legacy to start All Star Code,” she said. Before his death in 1993, Reginald created TLC Beatrice International Holdings, the first black-owned global enterprise to earn more than a billion dollars in revenue. “I realized that if my father were a young man today, he would no doubt be working in technology, the growth industry for building wealth in the 21st century,” Lewis told Black Enterprise.

Source: http://www.blackenterprise.com/black-boys-stem-summer-program/

Willie Mays Has World Series MVP Award Named After him by Major League Baseball 

Baseball Legend Willie Mays (photo via emaze.com)

via espn.com

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has named its World Series Most Valuable Player Award after Willie Mays. The decision was announced Friday, the 63rd anniversary of Mays’ over-the-shoulder catch in deep center field at the Polo Grounds for the New York Giants against Cleveland’s Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the World Series.

The Giants went on to sweep the Indians. The Series MVP award was given out for the first time the following year, when it was won by Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres.”I’d like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred and his team at Major League Baseball for honoring me with this recognition,” Mays said in a statement. “Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it’s just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been!”

Now 86, Mays played in 24 All-Star Games during a 22-year career with the New York and San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets.”Once again, it’s going to remind people of who Willie is and how great a player he was,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Mays was also honored the same day in Harlem, where the corner of West 155th Street and Harlem River Drive was renamed Willie Mays Drive.

Source: Major League Baseball names World Series MVP award after Willie Mays

Chris Singleton, Son of Charleston Church Shooting Victim Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Drafted by Chicago Cubs

Chris Singleton and his mother Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (photo via thebiglead.com)

by Paula Rogo via essence.com

The son of one of the victim’s of the Charleston church shooting was drafted to a major league baseball team almost two years to the day of the tragedy. The Chicago Cubs nabbed Chris Singleton in the 19th round of the draft last Wednesday. He played baseball at Charleston Southern University. His mother, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and eight other people were gunned down in 2015 by Dylann Roof inside Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“We certainly understand and have deep sympathy for his backstory, but what I want to make sure doesn’t get lost is that this guy’s a really good baseball player,” said Jason McLeod, the Cubs’ senior vice president of scouting and player development. “We had him evaluated really as a top-10-round-caliber talent.”

Roof was sentenced to death ealier this year after being convicted of federal murder and hate crimes in the Charleston massacre. He pleaded guilty to state charges in April, clearing the way for his federal imprisonment on death row to begin.

On The Anniversary Of Charleston Massacre Singleton posted on Twitter after the draft, using the hashtag #CantLetMomsDown. He described his mother as ”a God-fearing woman (who) loved everybody with all her heart.“ If everyone loved the way she did, he said, hate wouldn’t have a chance.”

Source: Chicago Cubs Draft Son Of Charleston Church Shooting Victim | Essence.com

Zion Harvey, 9, Throws 1st Pitch at Orioles Game after Double Hand Transplant

zion harvey
Zion Harvey throws out first pitch at Baltimore Orioles game (Aug. 2, 2016)

article via eurweb.com

Remember the Maryland boy who in 2015 became the first child in the world to receive a double hand transplant? Well, he just threw out the first pitch at an Orioles game.

Zion Harvey, who lost both hands and feet to a severe infection as a baby, was 8-years-old last summer when a surgical team of 40 at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia worked ten hours connecting bone, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons and skin to give him two new hands.

Harvey has been working ever since to regain hand function through rigorous therapy sessions.  On Tuesday, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch for his hometown Orioles.  “Never give up on your dreams, it will come true,” Harvey told WJZ last year.

Zion Harvey with Adam Jones
Zion Harvey with Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones and team mascot (photo via eurweb.com)

Outfielder Adam Jones had the honor of catching Harvey’s ball.  The O’s went on to win their game against the Texas Rangers 5-1.

To watch video of the throw, go to:  http://www.eurweb.com/2016/08/first-kid-receive-double-hand-transplant-throws-first-pitch-orioles-game-watch/

Ken Griffey Jr. Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame With Highest Voting Percentage Ever

A star slugger of the Steroids Era never tainted by accusations of drug use, Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped the previous mark of 98.84, set when Tom Seaver appeared on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992.

“Happy and shocked,” Griffey said on MLB Network, “that I get to be in such an elite club.”

“In case you don’t know, I’m really superstitious. I’ve played in the Hall of Fame game three times and I’ve never set foot in the building. I’ve never even seen the front of it,” Griffey said. “The one time I wanted to go in there, I wanted to be a member.”

After falling 28 shy last year, Piazza received 365 votes in his fourth time on the ballot and will be inducted along with Griffey on July 24.

“Incredibly special. Wow,” Piazza said on a call with MLB Network.

“I sat here with my mouth on the floor,” he said.

A player needs 75 percent to gain election, and Jeff Bagwell missed by 15 votes and Tim Raines by 23. Trevor Hoffman, on the ballot for the first time, was 34 short.

The vote total dropped by 109 from last year because writers who have not been active for 10 years lost their votes under new rules.

There were significant increases for a pair of stars accused of steroids use. Roger Clemens rose to 45 percent and Barry Bonds to 44 percent, both up from about 37 percent last year.

Mark McGwire, who admitted using steroids, received 12 percent in his 10th and final ballot appearance.

Half of baseball’s top 10 home run hitters are not in the Hall: Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (654), Jim Thome (612), Sosa (609) and McGwire (583). Rodriguez, who served a yearlong drug suspension in 2014, remains active. Thome’s first appearance on the ballot will be in 2018.

Curt Schilling rose from 39 percent to 52, Edgar Martinez from 27 percent to 43 and Mike Mussina from 25 percent to 43.

Griffey was known simply as “Junior” by many as a contrast to his father, three-time All-Star outfielder Ken Griffey, who played alongside him in Seattle during 1990 and ’91. The younger Griffey became a 13-time All-Star outfielder and finished with 630 homers, which is sixth on the career list. After reaching the major leagues in 1989, he was selected for 11 consecutive All-Star Games in 1990.

Wanting to play closer to his home in Florida, he pushed for a trade to Cincinnati — his father’s old team and the area he grew up in— after the 1999 season. But slowed by injuries, he never reached 100 RBIs again after his first season with the Reds, and he moved on to the Chicago White Sox in 2008 before spending his last season-plus with the Mariners.

article by Ronald Blum, AP via blackamericaweb.com

 

Mathematician Katherine G. Johnson, Slugger Willie Mays and the Late Shirley Chisholm to Receive Presidential Medals Of Freedom

Shirley Chisholm, Willie Mays and Katherine G. Johnson (photo via GBN)
2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom Honorees Shirley Chisholm, Willie Mays and Katherine G. Johnson (photo via GBN)

Ninety-seven-year-old Katherine G. Johnson was a pioneer in American space history.  A NASA mathematician, Johnson’s computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle program.

Willie Mays, 84, who ended his esteemed baseball career with 660 home runs, became the fifth all-time record-holder in the sport.

Shirley Chisholm made history in 1968 by becoming the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She helped found the Congressional Black Caucus, ran for president in 1972, and served seven terms in the House of Representatives.

Now, they are among 17 Americans who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

President Barack Obama will present the awards on November 24 during a ceremony at the White House.

“I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,” the statement reads. “From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”

Chisholm’s medal will be presented posthumously.

Click here to read the complete list of award-winners.

article by Lynette Hollowayvia newsone.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson 

Bernie Williams, an Improbable Star in Center Field for the New York Yankees, is Immortalized Just Beyond It

Bernie Williams, who won four World Series titles with the Yankees, with catcher Brian McCann after throwing a ceremonial pitch in the Bronx on May 24. (BILL KOSTROUN / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Bernie Williams, who won four World Series titles with the Yankees, with catcher Brian McCann after throwing a ceremonial pitch in the Bronx on May 24. (BILL KOSTROUN / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

On July 5, 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. drove a pitch from the Yankees’ Tim Leary to the center-field wall at the old Yankee Stadium. Roberto Kelly chased after it, crashed into the fence and sprained his right wrist. Two days later, Bernie Williams was roaming center field in the Bronx.

This is how it often happens, an emergency leading to the realization of a dream. Williams’s career unfolded in ways he never could have imagined, with four championships, five All-Star selections and $103 million in career earnings. He never left the Yankees, and on May 24th, the team retired his No. 51.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that a skinny little 17-year-old kid from Puerto Rico could be here this day, in this celebration,” Williams said in his speech, before the Yankees fell to Texas, 5-2, for their 10th loss in 11 games. “I am overwhelmed.”

Williams thanked George M. Steinbrenner, the principal owner who died in 2010, for making him a Yankee and keeping him here. Hal Steinbrenner presented Williams with a custom-made ring, No. 51 surrounded by diamonds on the face.

R.I.P. Chicago Cubs Legend Ernie Banks, 1st Black Player in Team History

The Chicago Cubs' Ernie Banks poses in 1970. The Cubs announced Friday night that Banks had died. The team did not provide any further details. Banks was 83.
The Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks poses in 1970. The Cubs announced Friday night that Banks had died. The team did not provide any further details. Banks was 83

Baseball’s Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. “Mr. Cub,” who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team — eighth in the majors overall — and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.

“Forty-four years after his retirement, Banks holds franchise records for hits, intentional walks and sacrifice flies and in RBIs since 1900,” MLB.com reports. “He likely holds club records for smiles and handshakes as well. … His 2,528 games are the most by anyone who never participated in postseason play. Chicago never held him responsible for that and believed he deserved better.”

Banks, who was 83, was named National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

His back-to-back MVP awards were among the few given to players on losing teams, notes The Associated Press:

“Banks’ best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP.

“Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs.”

article by Christopher Dean Hopkins via npr.org

Little League Pitching Sensation Mo’ne Davis Throws out 1st Pitch at World Series

Mo’ne Davis, the first female pitcher in Little League World Series history to pitch a complete-game shutout accompanied by players from the Jackie Robison West Little League team, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of baseball's World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Mo’ne Davis, the first female pitcher in Little League World Series history to pitch a complete-game shutout accompanied by players from the Jackie Robison West Little League team, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Cameras flashed, the crowd rose for a thunderous ovation and Mo’ne Davis did exactly what she was expected to do — fire a strike right down the middle.  From Little League phenom to the star of her own commercial to World Series celebrity, the 13-year-old Davis has been on quite a ride these past few months.

She continued her remarkable journey on the biggest baseball stage of all when she threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

“Just to be at the World Series is pretty cool,” Davis said. “If I didn’t throw a strike, I don’t know what I would do. Throwing a strike was probably the best part.”

On a night when the attention of the sports world was focused on AT&T Park, Davis managed to stand out.  She paused to take photographs with fans, munched on a vanilla-and-chocolate sundae in the press box and managed to squeeze in some face time with Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson.

The eighth grader even got a phone call from her favorite player, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.  “I think that tops it all,” Davis said with a grin.

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Spike Lee, who directed the television commercial for Chevrolet that stars Davis, was also in attendance to watch the young pitcher.

Davis has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. Throwing out the first pitch at a World Series game seemed like the natural next step.

“When I found out that the commissioner was going to have her throw out the first pitch tonight, I said, ‘I’ve got to be here,'” Lee said. “She’s amazing … and she’s on the honor roll, too. And she’s only 13 years old.”

Continue reading “Little League Pitching Sensation Mo’ne Davis Throws out 1st Pitch at World Series”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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