Minor League Baseball (MiLB) has launched a new Black community-focused outreach platform.
“The Nine,” named for Jackie Robinson’s uniform number 9 when he played with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946, will connect MiLB teams with new national programming and future special events with the clubs’ existing outreach programs to Black fans.
It will also recognize and honor Black pioneers and trailblazing civil rights leaders in all 120 MiLB communities, including St. Paul.
“It’s a program that we were aware of and that it was going to be released in February,” Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer told the MSR last month.
The Saints annually honor Black baseball players: “We love to tell untold stories,” Sharrer said. “There’s such a wonderful history, certainly rich history of stories to be told.
“We love that we have a platform here at CHS Field to be able to help tell those stories year after year after year. The Nine initiative is going to do, at least for us, [it] is going to give us an opportunity to be able to tell that story on a bigger platform with a wider audience and [with] the help of Minor League Baseball’s resources,” he said.
Saints on schedule
Despite the current impasse between Major League Baseball and the players, the St. Paul Saints expect to play the 2022 season on schedule, Sharrer said.
The Saints announced earlier this month that they are scheduled to play 150 games this season, a six-game increase from last season’s 144-game schedule—75 at home and 75 on the road. Thirty-six of the Saints’ 75 home games will take place Friday-Sunday, and 48 of 75 Thursday-Sunday. July will have the most home games (15).
St. Paul will open the 2022 season at Louisville on Tuesday, April 5.
Negro League legends celebrated with Bobbleheads
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), along with NegroLeaguesHistory.com with a new limited edition Negro Leagues Field of Legends Bobbleheads.
The 13 bobblehead set replicates the NLBM’s life-size Field of Legends statues: Satchel Paige, Buck O’Neil, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Judy Johnson, Leon Day, Ray Dandridge, Pop Lloyd, Martin Dihigo, Rube Foster, and umpire Bob Motley.
The Field of Legends Puzzle Set also is available on a limited basis. For more info, go to www.BobbleheadHall.com.
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