Civil Rights Game – M.L.B. Takes Historic Event to the ATL for 2011


Celebrating its fifth year, this weekend Major League Baseball (MLB) will be hosting the Civil Rights Game in Atlanta (ATL), GA.


The Civil Rights Game was launched in 2007 with the focus of celebrating the iconic civil rights era of the 60’s. During that period many African-American players participated in the game. “It’s been hard work but rewarding work,” mentioned Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President for MLB, and the person responsible for organizing the event. I met Solomon during the Urban Invitational tournament earlier this year at the MLB R.B.I. Youth Academy located in Compton, CA. The spirit of the tourney is to feature a majority University as host and invite Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) as guest. This year’s host was University of California, Irvine. Grambling University, Southern University and Bethune-Cookman University completed the tourney lineup. “I can’t wait until May. Each year the Civil Rights Game gets bigger and bigger and our goal is to make sure the public is treated to a memorable event,” Solomon added.

Baseball historian, Darryl Grigsby is the author of a popular book featuring The Negro Leagues, “Celebrating Ourselves”. “I plan on being in Atlanta showcasing my Kansas City Monarchs uniform,” beamed Grigsby. “Hope to see you there.”


The event features symposiums, a roundtable discussion, a concert and other activities to educate the public on how baseball played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Other highlights will feature MLB paying homage to the Negro Leagues. The key event is a ceremony showcasing home run king Hank Aaron. It was in Atlanta; while a member of the Braves that he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. This year’s competition will pit two fan favorites; The Philadelphia Phillies versus the host Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta has a rich history regarding the civil rights movement so it is fitting they are this year’s host. Baseball is a sport of great intrigue. Many people use it as a metaphor in describing things. “You can’t get to second base with a foot hanging on first base,” is a common statement used for encouragement. “In any game three strikes and you’re out,” is another statement used to keep trying. There are many more as baseball continues to play a vital role in our society. In addition to all the festivities mentioned, those attending will be treated to a vast array of sports memorabilia from the Negro Leagues to the ’60’s. A large crowd is expected to see first-hand, caps cards, photos and other items.




History of the Civil Rights Game

Urban Invitational

Celebrating Ourselves

Other Associated Content

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