MLB Heritage Celebrations


17991985_10210450229270161_7373124005593779385_nSince I finally published the annual bobblehead list yesterday, I figured it was about time to publish the list of MLB heritage celebrations. I had the privilege of attending Korean Heritage Night at the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, and this year I just so happened to be in town for the Oakland Athletics’ Korean Heritage Night. Even if you’re not a member of the various groups below, there are a lot of cool things happening and you can learn a lot about other folks!

(Note that some dates below may require special tickets for some of the activities involved.)

All Groups
3-Aug Twins Diversity Day
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
18-Apr Oakland Korean Heritage Night
25-Apr Phillies Asian Pacific Celebration
11-May Giants Filipino Heritage Night 1
15-May Giants Korean Heritage Night
18-May Dodgers Japan Night
25-May Dodgers Korea Night
30-May Giants Chinese Heritage Night
30-May White Sox Asian Heritage Night
31-May Giants Japanese Heritage Night
20-Jun Dodgers Hawaiian Night
23-Jun Dodgers Filipino Night
26-Jul Rangers Japan/America Friendship Night
30-Jul Rangers Korean Heritage Night
18-Aug Giants Polynesian Heritage Night
19-Sep Giants Filipino Heritage Night 2
22-Sep Oakland Filipino Heritage Night
Native Americans
10-Jun Arizona Native American Recognition Day
23-Jun Giants Native American Heritage Night
22-Jul Mariners Salute to Native American Night
African Americans
15-Apr Nationals Jackie Robinson/Black Heritage Day
29-Apr Rangers African American Heritage Night
7-May Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues/Dressed to the Nines
2-Jun Phillies African American Heritage Celebration
16-Jun Pirates African American Heritage Celebration
19-Jun Dodgers African American Heritage Night
10-Aug Cardinals Negro Leagues Tribute
12-Aug Brewers Negro League Tribute Night
25-Aug Reds African American Community Night
13-Sep Giants African American Heritage Night
6/30 – 7/2 Detroit Negro Leagues Weekend
6/30 – 8/2 Detroit 15th Annual Negro Leagues Weekend
8/18-19/2017 Braves Hank Aaaron Heritage Weekend
Latinos and Hispanics
7-May Padres Domingos Padres: Celebration of Venezuelan Culture
9-May Dodgers Mexican Heritage Night
23-Jun Miami Venezuelan Heritage Night
2-Jul Padres Domingos Padres: Celebration of Domincan Republic Culture
12-Aug Detroit Fiesta Tigres
25-Aug Miami Domincan Heritage Night
25-Aug Phillies Goya Latino Family Celebration
8-Sep Nationals Roberto Clemente/Hispanic Heritage Day
9-Sep Arizona Hispanic Heritage Day
9-Sep Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night
9-Sep Rangers Hispanic Heritiage Night
15-Sep Detroit Hispanic Heritage Month Recognition
15-Sep Detroit Hispanic Heritage
17-Sep Miami Nicaraguan Heritage Day
22-Sep Reds Fiesta Rojos (for Hispanic Heritage Month)
22-Sep White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
23-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Fest
23-Sep Astros Hispanic Heritage Street Fest
23-Sep Padres Hispanic Heritage NIght
24-Sep Padres Domingos Padres: Celebration of Hispanic Cultures
27-Sep Dodgers Hispanic Heritage Night
1-Oct Miami Mexican Heritage Day
European Americans
25-Apr Giants Irish Heritage Night 1
2-May Nationals Irish Heritage Day
12-May White Sox Italian Heritage Night
19-May Detroit Polish Night
5-Jun Phillies Irish Heritage Celebration
9-Jun Giants Portuguese Heritage Night
20-Jun Phillies Greek Heritage Celebration
27-Jun White Sox Polish Heritage Night
18-Jul White Sox Greek Heritage Night
28-Jul Phillies Italian Heritage Celebration
22-Aug Giants Irish Heritage Night 2
25-Aug Oakland Italian Heritage Night
31-Aug Giants Italian Heritage Night
18-Sep Detroit Greek Heritage Night
18-Sep Detroit Greek Heritage
22-Sep Detroit Irish Heritage Night
22-Sep Detroit Irish Heritage
23-Sep Mariners Oktoberfest
23-Sep Mariners Oktoberfest
26-Sep Oakland Portuguese Heritage Night
27-Sep Phillies Oktoberfest
29-Sep Giants Oktoberfest
29-Sep Nationals Oktoberfest
9/15-17/2017 Reds Oktoberfest
Religious Heritage
13-Jun Red Sox Jewish Heritage Night
25-Jun Dodgers Christian Faith Day
21-Jul Dodgers Mormon Night
13-Aug Dodgers Jewish Community Day
15-Aug Oakland Jewish Heritage Night
21-Aug Giants Jewish Heritage Night
27-Aug Nationals Jewish Community Day
3-Sep Miami Jewish Heritage Day
14-Sep Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
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Stat-urday, 6/10/2017


Masahiro_Tanaka_on_August_4,_2015
Masahiro Tanaka in 2015, photo taken by Arturo Pardavila III via Wikipedia

June is Immigrant Heritage Month and after a week of disturbing comments about foreign-born players essentially needing to learn English (from Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt – both of whom later apologized), its time to take a closer look at baseball demographics. According to the most recent Racial and Gender Report Card for MLB, foreign-born players make up nearly one-third of MLB rosters, and minorities account for over 40 percent of all Major Leaguers.

Here is a break down of the demographics:

Opening Day Rosters

2016

2017

Black, African American, or African Canadian

7.7%

7.7%

Hispanic or Latino

28.5%

31.9%

Asian

1.7%

1.9%

White

59.1%

57.5%

     
Foreign-born players

27.5%

29.8%

MLB Pride


pride_hat_960x720_8ch1e7qa_ey9bhue6June is LGBT Pride Month and this year more MLB teams are recognizing LGBT communities with Pride Nights. Eleven teams are hosting Pride or LGBT nights during the month of June, and 5 other teams have already held or plan to hold similar events. That’s 16 teams total, three more than I reported last year and the year before.  (Oh – and just in case there’s no presidential proclamation this year regarding LGBT Pride Month, you can see all the previous proclamations at the Library of Congress website, and the archived site for the Obama Administration.)

However, as I stated previously, MLB clubs don’t always advertise their Pride Nights very well. Most teams bury the information on Pride Nights (and other special ticket events) under “Theme Nights” rather than putting them on their promotional schedules. Others make no mention at all of LGBT events, instead relying on local organizations to sponsor and advertise the events. For example, I had no idea that Tigers, Rockies, Mets, or Cubs had any special events until I read about them on Outsports. You can do better MLB.

Nonetheless, below is the calendar of LGBT Pride events at MLB ballparks this year. Note that this will be the first year the Pittsburgh Pirates will be hosting a Pride event, while other teams, like the Washington Nationals, have been doing this for more than a decade.

Happy June!

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Event Additional Details
21-Apr San Diego Padres Out at the Park San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, San Diego Women’s Chorus and San Diego Pride and Padres staff jointly performed the National Anthem together; special ticket purchase included $5 donation to San Diego Pride.
26-May Miami Marlins Pride at the Park Hosted by the Marlins and the Clevelander Marlins Park. Special event ticket included a Pride at the Park trucker hat. Celebrity guests were” Carson Kressley and Chef Art Smith. A portion of the proceeds support the Marlins Foundation in support of local LGBTQ organizations.
3-Jun Detroit Tigers Tigers Pride Day Organized by Detroit Regional LGBT Chambers of Commerce – http://www.detroitlgbtchamber.com/
6-Jun Oakland A’s Pride Night Special ticket includes an A’s Pride Scarf and admittance to the pregame party on the Westside Patio.
9-Jun Los Angeles Dodgers LGBT Night Special guests include: actor Matt Bomer, Billy Bean (Major League Baseball Vice President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner), Brian Pendleton (founder of #ResistMarch), actors Noah Galvin and Guillermo Diaz; and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo (plaintiffs in the landmark case overturning Prop 8 and restoring marriage equality to California). The National Anthem will be performed by actor Dot Marie Jones accompanied by members for the Gay Men’s Chorus and Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.
9-Jun Tampa Bay Rays Pride Night Special ticket includes a Rays Pride Tumbler
9-Jun Boston Red Sox Pride Night The New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the National Anthem
13-Jun Washington Nationals Night Out The Nationals’ 13th Annual Night OUT. Proceeds from ticket sales contribute to Team DC’s Student-Athlete Scholarships, which are awarded each year to local college-bound LGBT student-athletes who, through their role in academics and sports, have enhanced the perception of the LGBT community.
16-Jun Colorado Rockies LGBT Night No additional information on the website
17-Jun New York Mets Pride Night A portion of the proceeds will benefit the LGBT Network and its Safe Schools Initiative to stop bullying in Long Island and Queens.
22-Jun Seattle Mariners Pride Night Hosted by the Seattle Mariners and Greater Seattle Business Association. Tickets include a Pride Night hat.
23-Jun Atlanta Braves LGBT Night This is the Braves’ 7th annual LGBT Night. A portion of the proceeds will go to Lost-n-Found Youth, whose mission is to take homeless LGBT youth off the street. Special ticket package also includes a Braves commemorative hat.
26-Jun San Francisco Giants LGBT Night The special event ticket package includes a LGBT/Giants scarf. Partial proceeds from each special event ticket will be donated to local non-profits in the LGBT community.
2-Jul Pittsburgh Pirates Pride Day This is the Pirates’ first Pride Day; each special ticket includes a special Pirates Pride Day cap.
22-Aug Philadelphia Phillies Pride Night The first 1,000 fans to purchase these special tickets receive a coupon for Phillies rainbow socks.
3-Sep Chicago Cubs Out at Wrigley This event is not mentioned on the Cubs’ website, but a special website has been created at:  http://www.outatwrigley.com/

Ila Borders: Breaking Barriers


borders-ilaTwenty years ago today, Ila Borders broke barriers in baseball when she became the first woman to pitch in a professional minor league baseball game. In 1997, Borders signed with the St. Paul Saints and played in her first game on May 31. Borders was also the first women to receive a college scholarship to play men’s baseball, the first woman to earn a win in college baseball, and the first woman to earn a win in a professional baseball game.

Today Borders is a firefighter and paramedic in Portland, OR, but she still makes time to talk about her experiences in baseball. The St. Paul Saints recently had an Ila Borders bobblehead giveaway to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her first game and her book, Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey, was published last month.

Other women’s firsts in baseball include:

  • Jackie Mitchell, the first woman to pitch for a minor league team, the Chattanooga Lookouts, in an exhibition game in 1931.
  • Toni Stone, the first of three women to play in the Negro Leagues. Stone played for the barnstorming team, the San Francisco Sea Lions, in 1945 before signing with the New Orleans Creoles in 1949. (The other women to play for the Negro Leagues were Mamie Johnson and Connie Morgan.)
  • Mamie Johnson, the first woman pitcher in the Negro Leagues. She signed with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953.
  • Eri Yoshida, the first woman drafted by a Japanese professional baseball team. Yoshida signed with the Kobe 9 Cruise of the Kansai Independent Baseball League in 2008.

Happy anniversary, Ila!

~ baseballrebecca

Stat-urday, April 7, 2017


Baseball is crazy with statistics, but the stats that are most interesting to me, are those related to people: demographics, attendance, community impact, etc. Fortunately, there are baseball stats on that, too! For the 2017 season, I will periodically highlight important social stats about baseball – on “Stat”-urdays!

Here’s an interesting take on the decline of Black players that was posted in 2014 by Business Insider. Do you agree with their conclusions?

Data through 2016 was recently posted by SABR