"I am pleased to announce the Houston Astros, who have demonstrated a substantial commitment to supporting diversity throughout our industry, as the hosts of Major League Baseball's 2014 Civil Rights Game," Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. "The Civil Rights Game and its surrounding events are an opportunity not only for our game to honor those who have fought for equality throughout American history, but also to remind us that the battle against injustice continues. As a social institution that features unprecedented diversity of all races and ethnicities throughout our sport, we are proud to join the Astros in remembering this important era in history."
"The Astros are honored to host the 2014 Civil Rights Game," said Jim Crane, Owner & Chairman, Houston Astros. "We have been pleased to support Major League Baseball's many initiatives over the past two seasons and look forward to continuing to do so. The Civil Rights Game and its activities are a great way for us to honor those that have fought for equality in the past, and to promote diversity and opportunity in our game moving forward."
In addition to the 2014 Civil Rights Game at Minute Maid Park, several events will take place throughout the week, including:
Baseball & the Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion
A group of prominent participants will discuss the pivotal role Baseball played in the civil rights movement and the game's continued presence as a social institution in American society. Previous panelists have included Martin Luther King III, human rights activist and eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Sharon Robinson, MLB Educational Programming Consultant and daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson; Dolores Huerta, activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers; Ambassador Shabazz, ambassador-at-large for Belize and eldest daughter of Malcolm X; Branch Rickey III, Pacific Coast League President and grandson of the late Branch Rickey; Thomas Tull, Chairman & CEO of Legendary Entertainment and Producer of the featured film "42"; Arte Moreno, Principal Owner of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Kenny Williams, Executive Vice President of the Chicago White Sox; Hall of Famers Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and Dave Winfield; Dodgers legend Don Newcombe; Hall of Fame journalist and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons; and MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds, among others. The Baseball & the Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion will be streamed on MLB.com and Astros.com prior to the Civil Rights Game.
MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon
The MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon will honor the recipients of this year's MLB Beacon Awards, which recognize individuals whose lives are emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement. Past recipients of MLB Beacon Awards include: Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Ernie Banks; and also Buck O'Neil, Don Newcombe, Bo Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Aretha Franklin, Morgan Freeman, John H. Johnson, Billie Jean King, Spike Lee, Congressman John Lewis, Carlos Santana, three of the founding members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Keynote speakers at previous MLB Beacon Award events have included Commissioner Selig, President Bill Clinton, Ambassador Andrew Young, Reverend Joseph Lowery, Julian Bond and Michael Wilbon.
The youth baseball and softball clinic is an event designed to give young players locally the opportunity to interact with and learn from current and former players. Interactive aspects will include batting cages, pitching machines and baserunning stations.