Minor League Baseball will raise awareness in black communities

Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday that it is launching a black community-focused outreach program called “The Nine,” which is designed to honor and celebrate the historic impact of black baseball pioneers and civil rights leaders.

The Nine is named for the number worn by Jackie Robinson during his only season playing in the minor leagues (MiLB) with the Montreal Triple-A Royals in 1946. It will feature new national programming and special events in a campaign to strengthen efforts in black communities.

The announcement was made on the first day of Black History Month. The initiative also follows MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión – the Latino fan engagement platform introduced in 2017 which included 76 MiLB teams last season.

Jackie Robinson wore number 9 with the Montreal Royals.

MiLB said The Nine will focus on creating new opportunities for Black youth participation in MiLB’s 120 cities, especially where youth baseball and softball programs do not exist or are difficult to access. ‘access.

At the heart of this push is the planned expansion of Major League Baseball‘s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program throughout MiLB’s national footprint. New competitions in MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run and Junior Home Run Derby events will debut in MiLB markets starting in 2022.

The Nine will also strive to further diversify the baseball business. Several minor league teams are located in cities that are home to historically black colleges and universities, and the program hopes to offer those schools the opportunity to launch internship and mentorship programs with local teams so students can gain experience. work before entering the job market.

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