Stat-urday, 3/31/2018

Yesterday, MLB Communications tweeted stats on players born outside the United States. Foreign-born players made up 29% of the players on MLB Opening Day Rosters, including one player from Lithuania, one from South Africa, and 219 from Latin America.

~ baseballrebecca


Desegregating Baseball

Orlando Cepeda in 1962. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

I stumbled across this documentary yesterday as it made its debut on the television channel TV One. “A Long Way From Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation” tells the story of minority players in the major leagues with the backdrop of a still segregated society. Players highlighted include: James “Mudcat” Grant, Orlando Cepeda, Tony Pérez, Jimmy Wynn, Grover “Deacon” Jones, J.R. Richard, Enos Cabell, Octavio “Cookie” Rojas, Orlando Peña, and Bobby Tolan.

The documentary highlights the everyday struggles of black and Latino players – from being asked to leave a restaurant the white players were welcome at, to being told they had to speak English, to having to play through injury. This is definitely must-see TV! Check out the preview below.

~ baseballrebecca

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 –
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:

70 Years After Jackie

Jackie_Robinson,_Brooklyn_Dodgers,_1954“The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.” ~ Jackie Robinson

It’s been 70 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Many players followed, changing the face of the game, sports, and society, forever. Significant progress was accomplished in the United States in the decades that followed Jackie’s MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. But there is still work to do.

Many people have examined the social significance of Jackie Robinson integrating baseball. We have also come to know about Robinson’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Nonetheless, there remains unfinished business that must be addressed.

So, yes, today is Jackie Robinson Day throughout MLB and MiLB ballparks. While we celebrate Jackie Robinson’s enormous contributions to society, let’s also think of ways to honor his memory by continuing his work.

~ 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

Baseball’s Diversity and Heritage Days

viva250x250As I’ve noted before, baseball teams – especially Minor League Baseball – develop a variety of events to draw people to games. One category of such events is, as I’ve named it, is “Diversity/Heritage Days.” These days celebrate the diversity of the United States and the communities in which the teams operate.

I’m not sure what some of these events actually celebrate – such as “Redstoberfest” and “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.” And, of course, teams need to be thoughtful and respectful in their approaches to these events. The Orem Owlz recently learned that lesson when their “Caucasian Night” promotion was widely criticized. In their apology, the team noted: “Our goal in this promotion, like any of our promotions, is to have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies. Our night was to include wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like Friends and Seinfeld and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge. We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.”

Below I’ve collected the Diversity/Heritage Days for all MLB teams, plus the minor leagues that include teams for my Orioles and Nationals: the International League, Eastern League, Carolina League, and New York-Penn League. Also included are all of the independent leagues. The remaining dates are shown first, broken down by group. However, that doesn’t give you the full story, as we’ve already missed several dates, including Korean Heritage Night and Japanese Heritage Night at the San Francisco Giants.

Have fun celebrating your heritage and that of others!

~ baseballrebecca


Hispanic/Cinco de Mayo/Latino/Caribbean

Date Team Event
7/25 Royals Viva Los Reales
8/2 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
8/5 Hudson Valley Latin Heritage Night
8/8 Tigers 10th Annual Fiesta Tigres
8/11 White Sox Orgullo Sox Night
8/16 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
8/20 West Virginia Latin Heritage Night
8/21 Reds Fiesta Rojos
8/22 Marlins Dominican Heritage Night
8/26 New Britain Latino Heritage Day
8/28 Phillies Latino Family Celebration
8/30 Kansas City T-Bones Hispanic Heritage Day
8/30 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
9/5 Brooklyn Latin Music Night
9/10 Braves Hispanic Heritage Night
9/12 Giants Fiesta Gigantes
9/12 Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night
9/12 Rangers Hispanic Heritage Day
9/17 Bridgeport Bluefish Hispanic Heritage Night
9/17 Nationals Hispanic Heritage Day
9/20 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
9/26 Marlins Hispanic Heritage Day
10/2 White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
10/3 Dbacks Hispanic Heritage Day
10/3 Dodgers La Gran Fiesta – Viva Los Dodgers


Black/African American Heritage/Tributes to the Negro Leagues and Players

7/18 Brewers Negro League Tribute Game
7/20 St. Paul Saints Larry Doby Night
8/2 Durham Negro League Night
10/2 Giants African American Heritage Day


Asian Heritage

8/21 A’s Filipino Heritiage Night
9/15 Giants Filipino Heritage Night
9/18 Giants Polynesian Heritage Night

Irish Heritage/St. Patrick’s Day

7/16 Brooklyn Irish Heritage Night
7/17 Binghamton Irish Night
7/20 Long Island Ducks Irish Night
7/22 Hudson Valley Irish – Organically Green Irish Night
7/23 Akron Irish Heritage Night
7/23 Trenton Irish Heritage Night
8/1 Williamsport Irish Heritage Night
8/8 Lakewood Irish Heritage Night
8/11 Giants Irish Heritage
8/25 Tri-City Irish Night
8/28 State Island Irish Heritage
8/28 West Virginia Irish Heritage
8/28 Staten Island Irish Heritage Night
9/2 Royals Irish Heritage
9/12 White Sox Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day
9/17 Braves Halfway to St. Patricks Day
9/22 Tigers Irish Heritage


Italian Heritage

7/16 West Virginia Italian Heritage Night
7/17 Phillies Italian Heritage
7/31 Tri-City Italian Night
8/7 A’s Italian Heritage Night
8/16 Staten Island Italian Heritage
8/16 Staten Island Italian Heritage Night
8/20 Brooklyn Italian Heritage Night


German Heritage/Oktoberfest

8/1 Brooklyn Augtoberfest
8/14 Tri-City Oktoberfest
8/20 Akron German Heritage
8/27 Hudson Valley Augtoberfest
9/3 St. Paul Saints Oktoberfest
9/3 West Virginia Oktoberfest
9/4 A’s Oktoberfest
9/5 Reds Redstoberfest
9/30 Giants Oktoberfest
10/3 Mariners Oktoberfest
10/3 Rays Oktoberfest Freezer Mug


Polish Heritage

Toledo Polish Heritage Night
8/13 West Virginia Polish Heritage Night


Portuguese Heritage

9/22 A’s Portuguese Heritage Night

 Jewish Heritage

7/15 Staten Island Jewish Heritage
7/15 Staten Island Jewish Heritage Night
7/27 Giants Jewish Heritage
8/2 Brooklyn Jewish Heritage Day
8/19 Wilmington Jewish Heritage
8/23 Lowell Jewish Heritage
8/23 Lowell Jewish Heritage Day
8/25 Trenton Jewish Heritage Night
9/6 Marlins Jewish Heritage Day


Other Heritage Celebrations

7/28 Tri-City Mardi Gras
8/2 Tri-City Around the World in Nine Innings
8/16 Winnipeg Goldeyes Canada Day
8/25 Giants Indian Heritage Night
8/9 Tides All Ages Run the Bases



Events that already occurred

4/11 Marlins Puerto Rican Heritage Day
4/11 Braves Asian Heritage Night
4/11 Phillies Asian Pacific Heritage
4/16 Giants Irish Heritage
4/16 Nationals Black Heritage Day
4/17 Giants Korean Heritage
4/19 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
4/23 Keys Italian Heritage Night
4/24 Tigers Negro Leagues Weekend
4/26 Lakewood Jewish Heritage Night
5/3 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
5/5 New Britain Latino Heritage
5/5 Bridgeport Bluefish Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Syracuse Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Baysox Fiesta de La Familia/Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Angels Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Giants Cinco de Mayo
5/5 White Sox Cinco de Mayo
5/8 Richmond Hispanic Heritage Night
5/8 Giants Filipino Heritage Night
5/10 Tides All Ages Run the Bases
5/12 Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
5/13 Wilmington Greek Heritage
5/15 Phillies Irish Heritage
5/17 Charlotte Tribute to the Negro Leagues
5/17 Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues
5/19 Giants Japanese Heritage
5/22 Marlins Cuban Heritage Night
5/22 Tigers 45th Annual Polish-American Night
5/24 So. Maryland Hispanic Heritage Day
5/24 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
5/28 Giants Chinese Heritage Night
6/1 Keys Celtic Night
6/4 Camden Riversharks Irish Heritage
6/5 White Sox Italian Heritage Night
6/5 Phillies African American Heritage
6/7 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
6/7 New Hampshire Irish Heritage Day
6/7 White Sox Greek Heritage Night
6/8 White Sox Polish Heritage Night
6/9 A’s Korean Heritage Night
6/13 Marlins Venezuelan Heritage Day
6/15 Giants Portuguese Heritage
6/17 Wilmington Irish Heritage
6/17 Phillies Greek Heritage
6/19 Braves Heritage Weekend
6/20 Dbacks Native American Recognition Day
6/20 Baysox Tribute to the Negro Leagues
6/20 Braves Negro League Tribute
6/21 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
6/21 Camden Riversharks Jewish Heritage
6/23 Giants Italian Heritage
6/24 Marlins Caribbean Heritage Night
6/24 Giants Native American Heritage
6/29 Tides All Ages Run the Bases
7/1 Winnipeg Goldeyes B’Nai Brith
7/2 Winnipeg Goldeyes Ukrainian Celebration
7/5 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
7/6 Syracuse Negro League Appreciation Day
7/8 Wilmington Italian Heritage
7/10 Lakewood Italian Heritage Night
7/12 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers