Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros on Wednesday announced details for the 2014 Civil Rights Game at Minute Maid Park and ancillary activities, which include the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon and the Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion.
The 2014 Civil Rights Game will be played between the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park on Friday, May 30, airing nationally on MLB Network and called by MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds and Sam Ryan.
Baltimore Negro Leagues uniforms to be worn during the Civil Rights Game
- Houston Eagles: The Astros will wear the uniforms of the Houston Eagles, which played for two years (1949-50) and was the only team from Texas in Negro Leagues history.
- Baltimore Elite Giants: The Orioles will wear the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants, which played from 1938-50.
The uniforms and caps were produced by Majestic and New Era, respectively. Both designs were approved by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Civil Rights Game cap giveaway, ballpark fireworks
- Cap giveaway: The first 15,000 fans to enter Minute Maid Park for the Civil Rights Game will receive a special commemorative Civil Rights Game cap.
- Motown fireworks: Following the Civil Rights Game, the Astros will host a special fireworks show, presented by Marathon Oil Corporation, that will have a Motown theme.
- Aloe Blacc: The chart-topping singer/songwriter will perform his hit songs "Wake Me Up" and "The Man" on-field at Minute Maid Park prior to the Civil Rights Game, with the "The Man" airing live on MLB Network. Additionally, he will perform "Eyes of a Child" earlier in the day at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon at Hilton Americas Houston.
- Miri Ben-Ari: The Grammy Award-winning violinist and UN Goodwill Ambassador will perform her song, "Symphony of Brotherhood," featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech, at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.
- Jadagrace: The actress, dancer and singer will perform the national anthem prior to the Civil Rights Game.
- Jeffrey Osborne: The Grammy nominee and platinum recording artist will perform "America the Beautiful" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion on Thursday, May 29, at 12:30 p.m. CT, Union Station at Minute Maid Park
A panel of prominent individuals will discuss the pivotal role baseball played in the civil rights movement and the game's continued presence as a social institution, as well as present-day social issues affecting the country and the world. The Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion, which will be moderated by Harvard Law School professor Dr. Charles Ogletree, will be streamed on MLB.com and Astros.com prior to the Civil Rights Game. The following are the participants scheduled for this year's Roundtable Discussion:
- Ernest Green: Member of the "Little Rock Nine"
- Linda Alvarado: Member of the Colorado Rockies' ownership group; chief executive officer of Alvarado Construction
- Bob Kendrick: President, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
- J.R. Richard: Houston Astros legend
- Harold Reynolds: MLB Network analyst; two-time MLB All-Star
MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 30, at noon CT, Hilton Americas Houston
MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig will speak at the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon. At the event, MLB will honor the late best-selling author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou, founder of Motown Records and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Berry Gordy and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown. The triumvirate will each receive an MLB Beacon Award, which recognizes individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement, and they will be recognized on the field prior to the Civil Rights Game. Additionally, Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America," will be the keynote speaker. Two Houston-based charities -- the Houston Area Urban League and Change Happens! -- will be the charitable beneficiaries of the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.
MLB and the Astros will pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.
Principal sponsor of the Civil Rights Game and ancillary activities
Houston-based law firm Andrews Kurth LLP will serve as the principal sponsor of the 2014 Civil Rights Game and ancillary activities. Recently, the firm was named a local recipient of the 8th Annual Jackie Robinson Day "Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner" Award from MLB, acknowledging the firm's ongoing commitment to excellence and diversity.
About the Civil Rights Game
The Civil Rights Game and its ancillary activities are a series of events developed by MLB to pay tribute to those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans. This year's event is another example of the Houston Astros supporting MLB initiatives geared toward highlighting diversity throughout baseball.
The 2014 Civil Rights Game is the eighth installation of an annual event that began in Memphis, Tenn., in '07, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in '08, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati ('09-10), then Atlanta ('11-12) as regular-season contests, and last year was hosted in Chicago by the White Sox. While much of the south was deeply affected during the civil rights movement with violence threatening the well-being of many, Houston played a vital role in achieving peaceful desegregation, making it a crucial part of the overall civil rights effort.