Black Heritage Night at Nats Park

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | 8/18/2011 01:46:00 PM | , , | 0 comments »

Nats Opponent: Philadelphia Phillies
Game Time:  7:05 p.m.
Gates Open: 4:30 p.m. (CF gate)
Pitching match up: RHP Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84 ERA) v. RHP Livan Hernandez (7-11, 4.21 ERA)
Giveaway: None

Pre-Game Ceremonies: The Ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown out by WPGC 95.5 FM radio personality Big Tigger.

Special Event: Black Heritage Night

The Washington Nationals will celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the game of baseball on Friday, August 19 when they host Black Heritage Night during their matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

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.

Last year, the club 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.

In addition, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo presented 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. Last year’s award was 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