Simply in time for Black Historical past Month, Minor League Baseball introduced the launch of a Black-community-focused outreach platform, “The 9.”
The 9 was particularly developed to honor and rejoice the historic influence of numerous Black baseball pioneers and the roles they performed within the sport. It’ll present new alternatives for youth baseball and softball participation and additional diversify the enterprise of baseball. The 9 may also embrace tens of millions of passionate followers all through MiLB (Minor League Baseball)’s 120 communities nationwide.
The initiative was named after the quantity Jackie Robinson wore throughout his solely season taking part in within the Minor Leagues with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946.
“The 9 will shine brilliant spotlights on these profitable initiatives and remodel them into nationwide campaigns reaching extra followers and communities, additional showcasing our groups’ dedication to representing, honoring, and welcoming all followers to MiLB’s distinctive model of enjoyable,” mentioned Kurt Hunzeker, Main League Baseball’s’ vp of minor league enterprise operations, in a written assertion.
“The 9 is simply the most recent instance of MiLB groups being true neighborhood champions.”
The 9 intends to hyperlink MiLB groups’ present, Black-community-focused improvement efforts with new nationwide programming, together with particular occasions. The brand new inclusion initiative follows within the footsteps of MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión Latino fan engagement platform. That specific initiative, launched in 2017, included 76 MiLB groups in 2021.
The 9 plans to acknowledge and rejoice many alternative Black pioneers and trailblazing civil rights leaders in all 120 communities that home MiLB groups. This can make sure the icons of the previous and their contributions can be celebrated and honored via ceremonies and occasions that can happen at MiLB ballparks and locally.
In line with MiLB, its newest initiative will think about creating new probabilities for participation amongst younger Black girls and boys, particularly in communities with hardly any youth baseball and softball programming.