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Thread: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Civil Rights Game gets bigger stage
    Cincinnati to host events, regular season game vs. White Sox
    By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

    The Civil Rights Game, a preseason hit played in Memphis its first two times around, is moving to Cincinnati and into the 2009 regular season, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday.

    The game will feature the Chicago White Sox against the Reds on Sunday, June 20, 2009, at Great American Ball Park and will be part of two days of festivities celebrating the civil rights movement and MLB's part in it.

    "Major League Baseball is committed to the significance and impact of this very important event," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Now in its third year, Major League Baseball is excited to bring the Civil Rights Game to its new regular-season host city of Cincinnati. We hope that the community will embrace its importance and its message as we remember and honor the African-American pioneers of our game."

    It will be the first of consecutive seasons for the game to be played in the ballpark of the Reds, who will also host in 2010. Cincinnati is home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located just blocks from the six-year-old ballpark. The Underground Railroad was not actually a railroad, but a series of trails and safe houses across the north through which slaves could escape from their southern bondage.

    "As the final stop to freedom at the northern end of the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati played a significant role in the struggle to free our country from slavery and civil rights injustice," said Bob Castellini, Reds president and chief executive. "We are proud that our team and our city will be involved with Major League Baseball and the Civil Rights Game in helping promote awareness of how baseball played a part in one of the most significant social changes in our nation's history."

    Memphis, where Rev. Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968, boasts the National Civil Rights Museum and was an apt spot for the Civil Rights Game as the final exhibition of Spring Training during its fledgling years.

    There were rousing panel discussions at the museum and a dinner commemorating MLB's three annual Beacon Award winners for their contributions to the civil rights movement. Past recipients of the MLB Beacon Award include Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning actress Ruby Dee, the late Johnson Publishing founder John H. Johnson, the late Negro League legend Buck O'Neil, award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee, and Vera Clemente, widow of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

    Members of the teams that competed in the games there -- the Cardinals and Indians in 2007 and the Mets and White Sox in 2008 -- were awestruck when they toured the museum, which is an extension of the Lorraine Hotel, where King was slain.

    "Every member of our travel party, from [general manager] Ken Williams to [manager] Ozzie Guillen, our coaches, players, staff and families, was touched by last year's experience in Memphis and our visit to the Civil Rights Museum," Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. "We all benefit from understanding the sacrifices made by Americans of all races as part of the civil rights movement in this country, a movement that continues in a variety of ways to this very day."

    Despite all that, though, there was the reality. Attendance in Memphis this past March 29, on a chilly late afternoon, was 7,717 -- -- 5,098 fewer than last year's showing of 12,815, which included many Redbirds fans who took the four-hour drive south from St. Louis for the game.

    This year, when rain canceled much of the pregame activities -- as it did in 2007 -- the Mets defeated the White Sox, 3-2.

    The event was ready to take a significant leap forward and since March, Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, had been seeking a Major League venue for the game.

    He found a 42,941-seat ballpark, depositing the game at a high exposure time of the year: right in the middle of the Interleague schedule. And again, the panel discussion and the Beacon Awards banquet will highlight the weekend.

    Proceeds from the banquet and the Civil Rights Game events will be donated to charity.

    "Cincinnati is proud to host the first regular-season Civil Rights Game," said Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory. "Cincinnati was the first point for freedom for many people. The Civil Rights Game is an excellent opportunity to continue our ongoing national efforts to advance civil rights."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Love it. Castellini and MLB will make this a bright spot on the schedule, and a true event for baseball. It may not rival the ASG, but you can bet it will be talked about.

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Hopefully the Reds are GOOD too...they have a legit chance at being so, I think...

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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Reds to host the Civil Rights Game
    Posted by JohnFay at 9/18/2008 4:29 PM EDT on Cincinnati.com

    The Reds and the City of Cincinnati will host the third annual Major League Civil Rights Game June 20 against the Chicago White Sox. The city will also host the 2010 Civil Rights game.

    This is first time the game has been played at big league. It had been played in Memphis the last two years.

    Several other clubs were interested in hosting.

    "When we start to do this tour of all the clubs that were interested in hosting the Civil Rights Game, it was after maybe 20 minutes of meeting with the Reds and the Castellinis, Walt Jocketty and Dusty (Baker) that we knew what we were going to do," said Jimmie Lee Solomon of MLB. "We made the decision before we got on the plane. We couldn't tell them that."

    "You made the right decision," said Reds CEO Bob Castellini.

    The game pays tribute to the country's social change and MLB's role in it. The weekend will include roundtable discussions and presentation of the Beacon Awards.

    "We wanted to grow this into a Major League event," Solomon said.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...cincinnati.com
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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Mods, is it OK if I post this?

    Reds invite Obama to Civil Rights Game
    Posted by JohnFay at 3/4/2009 8:57 PM EST on Cincinnati.com

    The Reds have invited President Obama to throw out the first pitch in the Civil Rights which will be held at Great American Ball Park on June 20/

    The Reds are playing the Chicago White Sox, Obama’s favorite team, in the game.

    “We sent a letter signed by (Commissioner) Bud Selig and myself,” Reds CEO Bob Castellini said. “We’re hopeful. We haven’t heard yet.”

    Reds manager Dusty Baker knows Obama personally, campaigned on his behalf and attended the inauguration.

    The Civil Rights Game has been played since 2007. It was previously an exhibition game played in Memphis.

    The Reds bid and won the rights to host the game in 2009 and 2010.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...cincinnati.com
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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    I might try to put this on my calendar.

    I like this. It's not just a cliche to sat that baseball and civil rights have been intertwined, and this can also be a good way to promote the Underground Railroad Center.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it would be a shame if this counts against Cincinnati hosting an All-Star Game at GABP in the foreseeable future.
    /r/reds

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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it would be a shame if this counts against Cincinnati hosting an All-Star Game at GABP in the foreseeable future.
    Actually, it might just be the other way around. Cincinnati puts on a good show for an MLB event that they want to make special and it shows the Queen City (and the Reds) would do well with an All-Star Game also.

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    Re: GABP to host 2009 and 2010 Civil Rights Game

    Wow. This is awesome...After the problems Cincinnati has had as a city with racial profiling, and riots, etc...to come this far and be an actual focal point for racial equality and the Civil Rights movement. That's great. I hope the Reds do a bang up job with this...if the President attends and the coverage touches on the Freedom Center, which I'm sure it will, it could be great for the City of Cincinnati. I'm sure they'll talk about Jackie, and Larry Doby, and Hank Thompson, but I hope they try to bring in Nino Escalera and Chuck Harmon, the first Reds of color (Nino is Puerto Rican and Chuck is African-American) and even show off Chuck's plaque in front of GAB. This rocks!

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