The Detroit Tigers host the franchise's 13th annual Negro Leagues Weekend April 24-26 as the Tigers host the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park. On Saturday, April 25 the Tigers will don the throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Indians will suit up as the Cleveland Buckeyes during the 21st Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, presented by Comerica Bank. The annual Negro Leagues Weekend marks the longest running three-day celebration of its kind in Major League Baseball.
The Detroit Tigers will pay tribute to several former Negro Leagues players as current and former Tigers players and special guests all come together for a weekend full of events celebrating the contributions of Negro Leagues players to the game of baseball.
Tickets are available at the Comerica Park Box Office, online at tigers.com and by phone at (866) 66-TIGER (84437). For complete ticket information including season, group and suites visit tigers.com/tickets or call 313-471-BALL(2255).
Friday, April 24 vs. Cleveland Indians at 7:08 p.m. Gates Open at 5:00 p.m.
· Second Annual Legacy Luncheon Presented by Comerica Bank: Comerica Bank and the Detroit Tigers will host a special luncheon in the Tiger Club at Comerica Park beginning at 11:30 a.m. The event will honor 1984 World Champion Lou Whitaker as the recipient of the 2015 Detroit Tigers African American Legacy Award. Additional special guests include Detroit High School Baseball players from Cass Tech, Martin Luther King, Renaissance, Communication & Media Arts and Mumford High Schools. As well as former Negro Leagues players, former Detroit Tigers players Willie Horton, Jake Wood, Dan Petry and Dave Rozema, Fox Sports Detroit Broadcasters Rod Allen, Craig Monroe and Mario Impemba, daughters of former Negro Leagues player and member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Norman "Turkey" Stearnes and members of the Detroit Tigers Front Office including President, CEO and General Manager, David Dombrowski. Andrew Humphrey, meteorologist for Local 4 WDIV, will serve as the host of the Legacy Luncheon.
· Ninth Annual Detroit Stars Singing Competition: The Tigers have partnered with Radio One for the ninth annual Detroit Stars Singing Competition. The competition will take place at the Big Cat Court and will be hosted by Tune Up of Radio One's 105.9 FM WDMK starting at 5:30 p.m. The 11 finalists will be judged by celebrities Stephen Tulloch, starting linebacker of the Detroit Lions, Lee Thomas of FOX 2 News and Tigers 1984 World Series Champion, Lou Whitaker and recipient of the 2015 Detroit Tigers African American Legacy Award. The winner of the Detroit Stars Singing Competition will receive a grand prize of $2,000 during an on-field ceremony prior to the evening's game and the opportunity to sing the national anthem prior to the Detroit Tigers versus Baltimore Orioles game on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
· "Passing of the Bat Ceremony": The Detroit Tigers continue the celebration of African American ballplayers and their numerous contributions to the game of baseball. The on-field ceremony includes the annual "Passing of the Bat" which embodies the past, present and future contributions of African American ballplayers to the game of baseball and includes ballplayers from many eras of Detroit baseball. The individuals in the pregame ceremony include Walt Owens, a former Negro Leagues player who was a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman for the Detroit Stars from 1953-1955, Tigers alumni including Jake Wood, Willie Horton and Lou Whitaker current Tigers players and coaches including Dave Clark, Rajai Davis, David Price and Anthony Gose and Nick Plummer of Brother Rice High School, a top African American high school prospect from Michigan.
· The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Antonio Embry, the great grandson of National Baseball Hall of Famer and Negro Leagues player Norman "Turkey" Stearnes and Stephen Tulloch of the Detroit Lions.
· The national anthem will be performed by Joyce Stearnes Thompson and Rosilyn Stearnes-Brown, daughters of Norman "Turkey" Stearnes.
· A series of banners will be displayed throughout the weekend at Comerica Park chronicling the history of African American players with the Detroit Tigers.
· Negro Leagues Art Installation: Negro Leagues themed paintings by Ann Arbor artist Philip Dewey will be on display in the Tiger Club Lobby throughout the weekend. Dewey has been developing a series featuring notable players of color who got their start with, or played exclusively, in the Negro Leagues during the first half of the 20th century. Dewey has been honored by the Society of American Baseball Researchers for his visual work on the Negro Leagues. One of the three paintings depicts Hall of Famer and former Detroit Stars outfielder, Norman "Turkey" Stearnes.