Last night, the annual MLB Civil Rights Game was held in Houston.
Dr. Maya Angelou, Berry Gordy, and Jim Brown were honored before the game. Dr. Angelou had passed away a few days earlier and her award was accepted by Robin Roberts (not the pitcher). George Foreman threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Beacon Awards luncheon is held each year before the game. Here’s a link to the Astros story.
I attended the first regular season Civil Rights Game in 2009 when the Reds hosted the White Sox on June 20. Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, and Bill Cosby were honored before the game.
I took a few pictures before and during the game.
Aaron, Ali, and Cosby during pre-game ceremonies. Bill Cosby had a charitable foundation called “Hello Friend” in honor of his late son.
The plaza outside The Great American Ballpark features statues of some popular Crosley Field era players. Joe Nuxhall pitches to Frank Robinson with Ernie Lombardi catching. Joe Nuxhall pitched for the Redlegs at age 15 (during WW II in 1944), and he was a long-time broadcaster for the team. After Joe’s death in 2007, the ballpark’s address was changed to 100 Joe Nuxhall Way.
The other player cast in bronze is Ted Kluszewski who is in the on-deck circle. “Big Klu” is most remembered by White Sox fans as a late season acquisition in 1959 who hit two home runs in the first game of the World Series.
The teams wore throwback uniforms from 1965. The Sox in their traveling powder blue. As “Scotty Pods” leads off, Gordon Beckham (15) watches. Gordon hit his first home run in this game during a big comeback win.
The ’65 Reds uniforms are the only ones that I remember with the players’ names below the numbers.
A few more pictures —