Since its inception in 2007, the Civil Rights Game has been an annual celebration of baseball’s role in propelling the Civil Rights movement to new heights. The game’s role in integration throughout the country and the world cannot be understated, and this year’s incarnation will be the 8th.
The contest will be between the Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros from Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. Both teams will be wearing Negro League throwbacks to honor the long-defunct baseball association. The Orioles will be wearing the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants, whereas the Astros will represent the Houston Eagles, a team that only existed for two years. There will be pre-game ceremonies, including a special showing of the Cooperstown Hall-of-Fame plaques of both Henry “Hank” Aaron and Frank Robinson. Robinson was baseball’s first African-American manager. A special dedication will also take place, commemorating the late Dr. Maya Angelou.
Throwing out the first pitch, according to Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun, will be another iconic sports figure – boxer George Foreman. Foreman, who of late has faded from the public eye, save for a few lean, mean, grilling machine commercials, was at the height of the boxing world in the 70s. His knockout of the undefeated Joe Frazier in Jamaica in 1973 is the stuff of legends, and he also holds the distinction of being the oldest World Heavyweight Champion after staging a comeback at age 45. Over 81 total fights, Foreman’s record was 76-5, with 68 of those wins coming via TKO. Foreman is also an ordained minister of the Christian faith.
Coverage of the MLB Civil Rights Game will begin at 7:45 EST from Houston, TX on MLB Network.
I’m going to bet that maybe…just maybe…George Foreman is going to throw a slightly better first pitch than 50 Cent did at Citi Field.