2019 Heritage Nights at the Ballpark, Part 2


17991985_10210450229270161_7373124005593779385_nLast week I posted the first half of the my annual celebrations of our many national, ethnic, and religious heritages. I’ve posted the second half below. So get out there and celebrate your heritage and the heritage of your friends and neighbors!

~ baseballrebecca

African American Heritage Celebrations and Negro Leagues Tributes

Date Team Details
16-Apr Nationals Jackie Robinson and Black Heritage Day
1-Jun Pirates Heritage Night/Negro Leagues Uniforms
7-Jun Brewers Negro Leagues Tribute Game
19-Jun Cardinals African American Heritage Night
19-Jun Dodgers African American Heritage Night
20-Jun A’s African American Heritage Night
23-Jun Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues Day
28-Jun Reds African American Community Night
23-Jul Giants African American Heritage Night
10-Aug Tigers 100th Anniversary Detroit Stars Replica Jersey

 

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebrations

8-Apr Giants Chinese Heritage Night
21-Apr Marlins Japanese Heritage Celebration
21-May Giants Filipino Heritage Night 1
24-May Giants Japanese Heritage Night
21-Jun Dodgers Filipino Night
23-Jun Mariners Japanese Heritage Day
19-Jul Giants Polynesian Heritage Night
Jul-19 Dodgers Japan Night
26-Jul A’s Pacific Islander Heritage Night
29-Jul Padres Japanese Community Night
1-Aug Dodgers Korea Night
2-Aug Dodgers Hawaiian Night
6-Aug Mariners Korean Heritage Night
10-Aug Padres Filipino Heritage Night
15-Aug Rangers Hawaiian Heritage Night
16-Aug A’s Korean Heritage Night
20-Aug A’s Chinese Heritage Night
23-Aug Mariners Filipino Heritage Night
7-Sep Padres Pacific Islander Heritage Night

 

Native American Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
14-May Giants Native American Heritage Night
1-Jun D’backs Native American Recognition Day
30-Jul A’s Native American Heritage Night
12-Sep Mariners Salute to Native American Night

 

Heritage Celebrations for Other Folks

Date Team Details
29-May Phillies Greek Heritage Night
31-May A’s Greek Heritage Night
11-Jun Giants Portuguese Heritage Night
18-Jun Padres Scottish Heritage Night
24-Jun Red Sox Catholic Night
26-Jul Padres Catholic Night
27-Jul A’s Portuguese Heritage Night
6-Aug Tigers Arab American Night
10-Aug Tigers Armenian Tigers Fan Night
15-Aug A’s Indian Heritage Night
27-Aug Padres Portuguese Heritage Night
14-Sep Nationals Taste of the World International Food Festival
27-Sep Giants Greek Heritage Night

 

 

 

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2019 Heritage Nights at the Ballpark, Part 1


Image result for internationalAs a Baseball Sociologist, some of my favorite ballpark promotions are heritage nights. Even if you aren’t from a particular community, you can still celebrate with your neighbors, learn something about their heritage, watch some cool dances or presentations, and eat food you don’t normally get to taste.

This year, the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants are doing the most heritage nights – 14 each.  The Padres and Marlins are right behind them with 11 and 10, respectively. In addition, the Marlins introduced “Comunidad 305” this year. They have a dedicated area in the ballpark where they “celebrate culture every game.” According to their website: “No matter where you are from, you are part of what makes Miami great. We are fusing our pride for our Heritage, our city, our diversity and our team to represent every night. Musical instruments, flags and more will be welcomed and encouraged.”

However, 19 teams – that’s NINETEEN teams – have two or fewer heritage days scheduled. At least from my count. Granted, sometimes it’s hard to find where they have the list on their websites. But then again, if it’s not advertised that well, does it really count?

Below are the first groupings I’m posting: Jewish Heritage Nights, Irish/Italian/German/ Polish Heritage Nights, and Latin American Heritage Nights. I decided to group Irish, Italian, German, and Polish heritage nights together because they are European heritage groups that are frequently celebrated at the ballpark. I chose these three groupings simply because they have celebration nights this coming up this weekend. Finally, I’ve included past dates just so you can see if you’re team or group were celebrated and when.

Keep in mind that several of these events include a giveaway item with a special ticket – so be sure to check the team websites for more information. Next week I’ll post additional heritage nights, so stay tuned!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 Jewish Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
19-May Tigers Jewish Heritage Day
19-May Marlins Jewish Heritage Celebration
28-May Reds Jewish Community Night
13-Jun Red Sox Jewish Pride Night
22-Jul Mariners Jewish Community Night
21-Aug A’s Jewish Heritage Night
26-Aug Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
27-Aug Giants Jewish Heritage Night
15-Sep Nationals Jewish Community Day
20-Sep Tigers Jewish Heritage Night

 

Irish/Italian/German/Polish Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
11-Apr Giants Irish Heritage Night
17-May Tigers Polish American Night
8-Jun Padres Irish Heritage Night
12-Jun Phillies Irish Heritage Night
13-Jun White Sox Polish Heritage Night
14-Jun Marlins Italian Heritage Celebration
20-Jun Mariners Italian Heritage Night
16-Jul Phillies Italian Heritage Night
25-Jul Mariners Irish Heritage Night
3-Aug A’s Italian Heritage Night
9-Aug Padres Italian Heritage Night
15-Aug Reds Irish Community Night
27-Aug Tigers Italian Heritage Night
30-Aug Giants Italian Heritage Night
14-Sep Nationals Oktoberfest
17-Sep A’s Irish Heritage Night
20-Sep Orioles O’stoberfest
21-Sep Reds German Community Night
24-Sep Giants Oktoberfest
28-Sep Mariners Oktoberfest

 

Latin American Heritage Celebrations

Date Team Details
20-Apr Marlins Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration
8-May Dodgers Mexican Heritage Night
17-May Marlins Cuban Heritage Celebration
11-Jun White Sox Greek Heritage Night
15-Jun Marlins Nicaraguan Heritage Celebration
21-Jun Royals Viva Los Reales
30-Jun Marlins Venezuelan Heritage Celebration
12-Jul Marlins Colombian Heritage Celebration
24-Aug Marlins Dominican Heritage Celebration
6-Sep White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
7-Sep Marlins Mexican Heritage Celebration
8-Sep A’s Latinx Heritage Day
12-Sep Phillies German Heritage Celebration
13-Sep Giants Fiesta Gigantes Night
14-Sep D’backs Hispanic Heritage Day
15-Sep Cardinals Fiesta Cardenales
15-Sep Cubs Hispanic Heritage Night
15-Sep Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Day
16-Sep A’s Mexican Heritage Night
16-Sep Brewers Hispanic Heritage Night
20-Sep Dodgers Dia de Los Dodgers
20-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Festival
21-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
22-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage Weekend
26-Sep Nationals Roberto Clemente and Hispanic Heritage Day

 

 

 

All-Star Festivities


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New Mobile Dental Unit for Washington, DC (photo courtesy of the office of the Washington, DC, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services)

The All-Star Week schedule is posted below, but there seems to be a whole lot more going on than just what’s on the official MLB schedule. MLB’s All-Star Legacy Initiative, along with the Washington Nationals and the Nationals Dream Foundation, has funded several projects throughout the city, and, as a result there have been several grand openings, ribbon cuttings, and other celebrations throughout the area. The All-Star Legacy projects funded around the area include:

  • All-Star Pavilion at Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington
  • Nationals All-Star Field at Walker Mill Regional Park in Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Youth Baseball Complex at Fred Crabtree Park in Fairfax County, Virginia
  • USO-Metro All-Star Depot at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington — All-Star Teen Room at Richard England Clubhouse #14 in Washington
  • Mobile Dental Unit with Children’s National Hospital in Washington

In addition, on Thursday, MLB unveiled a mural outside of Ben’s Chili Bowl, an historic restaurant in Washington, DC. The mural honors Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and Josh Gibson, two Negro League stars. On Saturday, MLB held its first “Culture + Code” event at the Blind Whino Arts Club Saturday.

Tonight, of course, is the Home Run Derby. But before that, at 3 pm, the annual Town Hall Meeting with the Commissioner of Baseball will be held at PLAY BALL Park, located at First and M Streets, SE, just down the road from Nationals Park. Today is also the final day of MLB Assembly at District Pier at The Wharf in DC. According to the website, this event “celebrates baseball at the intersection of art, fashion, and music.”

Whether you’re out and about in DC or watching this all from the comfort of home, enjoy All-Star Week!

~ baseballrebecca

MLB ALL-STAR SCHEDULE

 DATE TIME EVENT LOCATION
7/13 – 7/17 Fri-Mon—
10:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday—10:00am-5:00pm
PLAY BALL Park: a 56,000-square-foot venue featuring a youth-sized turf diamond and daily programming for fans of all ages, is free and open to the public PLAY BALL Park (First and M Streets SE)
7/13 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. All-Star Armed Forces Classic Nationals Park
7/14 8:00 a.m. MLB All-Star Color 5K Fun Run Anacostia Park/ Play Ball Park
7/15 4:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

All-Star Futures Game

Legends/Celebrity Softball Game

Nationals Park
7/16 3:00 p.m. Town Hall Meeting with the Commissioner of Baseball PLAY BALL Park
7/16 8:00 p.m. Home Run Derby Nationals Park
7/17 2:00 p.m. All-Star Game Red Carpet Show Nationals Park
7/17 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. All-Star Pre-Game Celebration Navy Yard
7/17 7:45 p.m. 89th MLB All-Star Game Nationals Park

 

Baseball in Venezuela, Part 3


Richard Hidalgo was shot in the forearm during a carjacking attempt in Venezuela in 2002. Three years later, kidnappers demanded $6 million for the release of Maura Villarreal who had been taken from her home in Ocumare del Tuy, outside of Caracas. Villarreal was rescued unharmed. In 2008, however, Carlos Simon Blanco Sanchez was murdered by his kidnappers in Venezuela. In 2009, an 11-year old and his uncle were kidnapped on the way to the boy’s school (but were later released as police were closing in); Jose Castillo was attacked by armed men as he left a luxury hotel; and Elizabeth Mendez Zambrano was kidnapped nine days after her nephew was abducted and killed.

What did these individuals have in common? They all had ties to Major League Baseball: an outfielder, a former player, and players’ moms, son, cousin, brother, and brother-in-law. In 2013, another player’s family – his father, mother and youngest brother – were unharmed in a kidnapping attempted in Valencia, Venezuela.

The nonprofit Venezuelan Observatory of Violence identified Venezuela as the second most murderous nation in the world in 2016, noting that there were more than 28,000 homicides in Venezuela that year – a rate of 91.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the U.S. State Department, kidnapping is “a major criminal industry” in Venezuela and while there are no official counts of the number of “it is believed that kidnapping cases remained constant during 2016, as with 2015.” In 2011 alone, more than 1,000 people were kidnapped in Venezuela. One of them was a Major Leaguer. Still, it would take a little more than four more years before the majority of MLB teams would close their training academies in the country.

Recently, major leaguers from Venezuela have begun speaking out about the problems in Venezuela. Francisco Cervelli, Salvador Perez, and Miguel Cabrera are just a few of the players who have made statements about the current situation. Other Latino players have also shown their support.

With the increasing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela, and the upcoming deadline for a vote on the new legislature, these issues are sure to remain in the news. With the increasing involvement of major leaguers, perhaps more of us will be informed of what is happening internationally and perhaps something can be done to assist those living in Venezuela during these challenging times.

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball in Venezuela, Part 2


Venezuela

Travel warnings for Venezuela, Government of Australia

Since April this year, nearly 100 people have died in clashes with Venezuelan security forces during mass protests, with thousands more injured and hundreds arrested. Protesters have denounced plans for a “Constituent Assembly” to replace the National Assembly and are demanding early presidential elections. In recent months, the political and economic situation in Venezuela has deteriorated to the point where Major League Baseball players have joined the call to end to the oppression of the Venezuelan people. As the Latin American nation becomes more unstable economically and more dangerous to visitors and citizens, it is important to understand the issues and why even baseball is affected. The Washington Post summed up the conditions in Venezuela as follows:

“Venezuela is a powder keg. Once a rich country held together by strong leadership and heavy social spending, it is now in economic disaster and could slide into widespread social disorder, triggering instability throughout Latin America. Drastic shortages of food, medicine, electricity and other necessities are causing small riots. Organized crime and extrajudicial police killings have given Venezuela a frighteningly high rate of murder and violence.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department noted, “The United States deplores the Venezuelan government’s increasing authoritarianism, and the convocation of a National Constituent Assembly designed to undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions, including the National Assembly.” The Constituent Assembly is currently scheduled for a vote on July 30. Yesterday, the U.S. government announced it had begun preparing sanctions against Venezuela which it would implement if the Latin American country continues with its plans to replace the National Assembly with a new “Constituent Assembly,” which critics state simply would do the bidding of Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro. After Sunday’s unofficial referendum (organized by oppositions leaders) revealed that more than 7 million people in Venezuela opposed the new assembly, the White House issued a statement that said, in part, that the “strong and courageous actions [of the Venezuelan people] continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.”

Although the United States established diplomatic relations with Venezuela in 1935, the relationship between the two countries has been strained in recent years. The State Department attributes the deterioration of relations to the most recent presidents of Venezuela having partly defined themselves through opposition to the U.S. government and practicing “21st Century Socialism” at the expense of the Venezuelan people and economy. Thus, in December 2016, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning advising against U.S. citizens visiting Venezuela “due to violent crime, social unrest, and pervasive food and medicine shortages.”

While it is difficult to sum up the political issues of the past century, we can see that decades of economic decline and political instability have taken their toll. (See the timeline posted below.) Tomorrow we will review the toll this has taken on baseball and what current MLB players are saying needs to be done.

~ baseballrebecca

The following timeline includes highlights from a chronology published recently by the BBC News and other sources:

1908-35 – Dictator Juan Vicente Gomez in control at the same time Venezuela becomes the world’s largest oil exporter.

1945 – A coup establishes civilian government after decades of military rule.

1948 – A coup overthrows Venezuela’s first democratically-elected leader after eight months of rule

1958 – Leftist Romulo Betancourt of the Democratic Action Party (AD) wins presidential election.

1973 – Venezuela benefits from oil boom and its currency peaks against the US dollar; oil and steel industries nationalized.

1989 – Carlos Andres Perez elected president amid economic depression, launches austerity program. A huge increase in gas prices leads to riots, martial law, and general strike follow; hundreds killed in street violence.

1992 – Two coup attempts by Hugo Chavez and his followers

1993-95 – President Perez impeached on corruption charges.

1998-2013. Hugo Chavez elected president in 1998 amid disenchantment with established parties, launches ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ that brings in new constitution, socialist and populist economic and social policies funded by high oil prices, and increasingly vocal anti-US foreign policy. During his presidency, Chavez will nationalize several industries and sign cooperation accords with Russia. Chavez government temporarily overthrown in 2002, but pro-Chavez forces reinstall Chavez two days later. In March 2005, media regulations are issued which provide stiff fines and prison terms for slandering public figures and Venezuela ends its 35-year military relationship between the U.S. In 2010, Chavez devalues Venezuela’s currency against the U.S. dollar. Later that year, Parliament grants Chavez special powers to deal with devastating floods, prompting opposition fears of greater authoritarianism. In 2012, the Venezuelan government extends price controls on more basic goods in the battle against inflation. Chavez wins a fourth term in office, but dies in April 2013.

2013 – Nicholas Maduro elected president by a less than 2 percent margin. In November, with inflation running at more than 50% a year, the National Assembly gives President Maduro emergency powers for a year, prompting protests by opposition supporters.

2014 – Protests over poor security in the western states of Venezuela win the backing of opposition parties and turn into anti-government rallies. At least 28 people die in the ensuing violence. In November, the government announces cuts in public spending as oil prices continue to drop.

2014-2015 – Opposition figure Maria Corina Machado charged with conspiracy to assassinate President Maduro; opposition mayor of Caracas charged with plotting coup with US support. In December 2015, the opposition Democratic Unity coalition wins two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections, ending 16 years of Socialist Party control.

2016 – Three Democratic Unity deputies resign from the National Assembly parliament in January under Supreme Court pressure, depriving coalition of clear two-thirds majority that would have allowed it to block legislation proposed by President Maduro. In February, Maduro announces measures aimed at fighting economic crisis, including currency devaluation and first petrol price rise in 20 years. In September, hundreds of thousands of people take part in a protest in Caracas calling for the removal of President Maduro, accusing him of responsibility for the economic crisis.

Honoring Memorial Day


Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_Day

Honoring the Fallen on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sometimes, with the over-abundance of military days at the ballpark, it becomes easy to overlook the days that are truly deserving of our honor and respect. In fact, many of us have tired of the almost daily renditions of “God Bless America” and military-inspired uniforms at MLB stadiums – to the point where we no longer pay that much attention. However, Memorial Day is one those days that reminds us that there are some things that are bigger and more important than baseball. And when baseball honors such days, it can be truly awe-inspiring.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day in 1868, after the American Civil War. Today it is a U.S. Federal holiday to honor and remember service members who died while serving in the the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a holiday on which we can relax, enjoy time off from work, and take time to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifice of others.

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Photograph courtesy of Adidas.

This year, MLB and MiLB ballparks across the U.S. will have a variety of activities and remembrances in honor of Memorial Day. For example, more than 100 baseball players will wear Memorial Day-themed cleats from Adidas. The shoes have a small red poppy with a ribbon that says, “Thank you.” There is also a pull-tab on the back of the cleats that states, “Forever Honor.” For those like me that had no idea – red poppies are known as the “remembrance poppy” and are often used to honor  military personnel.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetMemorial Day weekend also happens to coincide with many youth baseball tournaments, which keeps many families from properly celebrating the holiday. To address that problem, an assistant coach and former Marine in Maryland has ensured that the Chesapeake Classic Baseball Tournament being held in Elkton, MD, honors the day. Plans included a short ceremony with the teams gathering on the main field to honor the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces, members of the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion of the Marine Corps Reserve presenting the colors, the singing of the National Anthem, and current members of the military giving speeches on the meaning of Memorial Day.

However you celebrate Memorial Day, enjoy!

~ baseballrebecca