Tonight at Nats Park (July 2); Black Heritage Night

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | 7/02/2010 12:47:00 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

There are so many giveaways and events going on at Nationals Park this weekend that I thought I'd help out fans a bit and break it down.  Today is also Nyjer Morgan's 30th Birthday!

The beautiful weather is supposed to continue today so I highly recommend sitting outside at the ballpark. Enjoy the humid-free July while you can!  Happy 4th of July Weekend to all!

Nats Opponent: New York Mets

Game Time:  7:05 p.m.

Gates Open: 4:30 p.m. (CF gate)

Pitching match up: LHP Jon Niese (5-2, 3.84 ERA) v. RHP Luis Atilano (6-4, 4.33 ERA)

Giveaway: None

Pre-Game Ceremonies: See end of post - includes links

Fireworks: "Bang Zoom Go the Fireworks" - Fireworks display 10 minutes after the game unless games runs past 10:50pm

Ticket Special: Miller Lite Party Night

Special Event: Black Heritage Night (see below)

The Washington Nationals will celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the game of baseball on Friday, July 2 when they host Black Heritage Night during their matchup against the New York Mets. The club has invited various influential African-Americans to participate in the evening’s festivities, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes, who was recently appointed co-chair of President Obama’s Council on Fitness; and former Negro League player Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. Throughout the game, vignettes will be shown on the Nationals Park scoreboard featuring baseball greats including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Andre Dawson and Ken Griffey Jr.

Photos: Publically Available Online 

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo will also present the inaugural Joe Black Award, created to honor an organization or person who is instrumental in promoting the game of baseball in African-American communities. This year’s award will be given to the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission’s (M-NCPPC) Department of Parks & Recreation Prince George’s County, an organization that teaches children the game of baseball through youth clinics and specialized instruction.

Joe Black was the first African-American to play for the Washington Senators. Following his successful five-year Major League career (1952-1957), which included the 1952 National League Rookie of the Year Award and a trip to the World Series, Black became a school teacher in his hometown of Plainfield, N.J.

Photo from Steven Michael Selzer's Website

A special Friday night edition of “Inside Pitch Live” will feature a Q&A session with Steven Michael Selzer, author of Meet The Real Joe Black: An Inspiring Life. Baseball, Teaching, Business Giving. Moderated by Phil Wood in the PNC Diamond Club, Selzer will answer questions about his good friend and mentor Joe Black from 6:15 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. Immediately following the Q&A, Selzer will sign copies of his book on the Main Concourse behind Home Plate through the 3rd inning.

Photos from Steven Michael Selzer's Website

Also on the Main Concourse, fans can view memorabilia from the Negro Leagues courtesy of Don Conaway as well as a wax statue in the Stars & Stripes Club from Madame Tussauds.

Pregame Ceremonies include:
• Recognition Ceremony for newly appointed Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Fitness Dominique Dawes
• Presentation of the Joe Black Award to the M-NCPPCS’s Department of Parks & Recreation Prince George’s County
• Recognition Ceremony for District Councilmember Harry Thomas – Ward 5
• Ceremonial first pitch by United States Attorney General Eric Holder
• Presentation of the colors by Howard University Air Force ROTC
• Line-up card delivery from members of the Tuskegee Airmen
• National Anthem performance by the St. Augustine Gospel Choir
• “Starting 9” will feature children from Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation
• “Play Ball!” announcement by Negro Leagues alum Mamie “Peanut” Johnson