Hispanic Heritage Month is officially from September 15 through October 15. However, many MLB clubs have already begun the celebration. On Monday, MLB issued a press release on the activities they will host during Hispanic Heritage Month (I still want to know how I can get a Ponle Acento shirt):
In addition, voting is underway for the 2018 Robert Clemente Award, which is “bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” You can vote at MLB.com/clemente21.
In a related note, last week, Bryce Harper wore specially-designed cleats in honor of Roberto Clemente Day. He also won National League Player of the Week last week. Just a coincidence?
This season, 33 minor league teams have been competing in the Copa de la Diversión – the Fun Cup. According to the MiLB website, this season-long promotion is “specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.” The campaign follows the 2017 marketing campaign, “It’s Fun to Be a Fan” (“Es Divertido Ser Un Fan”). It’s also an opportunity to sell cool Spanish-language merch and be silly in a whole other language.
There were 165 games this season designated as “Copa” games, so there is still plenty of time to catch one. I had the pleasure of attending the Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake’s (Ghost Crabs, aka Bowie Baysox) event on June 26. Players were announced in both English and Spanish, Latin music was played throughout the game, and the concession stand included tacos, nachos, yucca, frijoles, and plantanitos fritos.
Of course, this is in addition to the regularly scheduled Latino heritage nights that are found throughout both MLB and MiLB. Check out the list of remaining Latino heritage nights below – and definitely check out the Copa de la Diversión!
We may have missed Armenian Night at the Tigers, which happened July 7, but there are plenty of heritage and community nights left at ballparks around the country this summer. So, if you’re Greek, German, Polynesian, Nordic, Arab American, or a member, friend, or supporter of several other groups, you might want to mark your calendar for one of the nights below. In addition, in case you missed Pride Night at your local ballpark, there are two more scheduled for August: at the Cardinals (August 17) and the White Sox (August 31).
Later this week I’ll report on the remaining Latino nights, religious-themed nights, and, of course, bobblehead nights.
On March 6, 2005, Suzyn Waldman became the first female full-time baseball color commentator when she made her debut with John Sterling on WCBS-AM (880), the flagship radio station for the New York Yankees. Prior to that, Waldman had worked for the YES Network as a reporter as well as for WFAN in New York.
In the mid-1990s, Waldman became the second woman to work as a play-by-play announcer for a local television station; Gayle Gardner was the first in 1993 when she did play-by-play on local television for the Colorado Rockies. Few other women had significant broadcasting roles prior the 1990s. In September 1964, Betty Caywood served as a color commentator for some late-season Kansas City Athletics games. In the 1970s, Mary Shane was a play-by-play announcer for part of the Chicago White Sox’ 1977 season.
So, apparently, the World Baseball/Softball Confederation has been developing a new version of baseball based on Cuban street ball. This new sport is called Baseball-5. It sounds like a really promising way of getting more people interested in and participating in baseball and softball. Basically, its baseball without all of the equipment – all you need is a baseball, 5 players, time for 5 innings, and a place to play. I need to find more information on this, but in the meantime, check out the videos below.