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Hammer time: Aaron's Minor League career

Baseball icon honed his skills in Eau Claire and Jacksonville
@BensBiz
April 8, 2024

This article was first published on January 26, 2021.

Ben's Biz: Spokane pays tribute to King Carl

Carl Maxey was Washington state royalty in and out of the ring
@BensBiz
March 8, 2024

This is an excerpt from the latest edition of the Ben's Biz Beat Newsletter, bringing Minor League Baseball business and culture news to your inbox each and every Thursday. Check out the full newsletter HERE.

JSerra prepped Royce Lewis for his journey

Former No. 1 overall pick learned valuable lessons in high school
@JesseABorek
February 28, 2024

On March 9, 2017, Royce Lewis arrived at the ballpark with added pep in his step. With a plethora of talent evaluators in the stands, Lewis, then a high school senior mere months away from becoming the first overall pick in the MLB Draft, was a powder keg of energy

Honoring Black baseball's rich and storied history

Nine Minor League clubs will celebrate Black baseball history in '24
February 27, 2024

When Jackie Robinson made his debut as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in Spring Training of 1946, his jersey number was not the 42 he'd come to be associated with. That spring in Daytona Beach, and throughout the ensuing season with the Triple-A Montreal Royals, he wore number

Andre Dawson still helping grow the game

Hall of Famer maintains deep connections to Florida A&M, HBCUs
@benweinrib
February 23, 2024

From a very young age, Andre Dawson knew he wanted to be a Florida A&M Rattler. In elementary school, the future member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame attended the Orange Blossom Classic, where the Rattlers football team played annually in his hometown of Miami. The games were intoxicating

Black Barons made Rickwood hallowed ground

Double-A Birmingham will face Montgomery at historic venue
@JoshJacksonMiLB
February 22, 2024

When the Double-A Birmingham Barons host the Montgomery Biscuits on June 18 at Birmingham’s Rickwood Field, and when the Giants face the Cardinals there on Juneteenth, the games will be played on hallowed ground. Rickwood Field was originally the home of two franchises. Opened in 1910, it was built for

Minor Leagues fueled Strawberry's meteoric rise

Coaches, teammates and experience guided 'Straw' to stardom
@MavalloneMiLB
February 21, 2024

Darryl Strawberry doesn't lament where the circuitous route of life has ultimately brought him. He doesn't look back with regret. He does, however, wonder what might have been. His tale is well-known. From high school phenom in Los Angeles to the top of the sports world in New York, the

Legacy continues to grow for Buck O'Neil

First Black coach in AL/NL history, baseball's biggest ambassador
February 15, 2024

Whether it be as a first basemen, a coach or as a scout, Buck O’Neil was a pioneer. Not only was he the first Black coach in AL/NL history, he signed legends such as Ernie Banks, Lou Brock and Joe Carter as a scout. The key was O'Neil's personable approach

Meet the only player drafted No. 1 overall twice

Goodwin selected four years apart in '70s by White Sox and Angels
February 9, 2024

Baseball is unique among the major sports in terms of how common it is for players to be drafted more than once, often including players who are chosen both out of high school and college. Since the inaugural Draft in 1965, 30 players have been picked in the first round

Batboy barrels way into Hall of Fame

Reliford broke Georgia State League color barrier at age of 12
February 8, 2024

This article was first published on Jan. 2, 2007. Joe Louis Reliford simply wanted a job. What he got instead was a place in baseball history.

Claxton created an accidental legacy

Canadian pitcher was first black man on a baseball card
@BensBiz
February 6, 2024

This article was first published on Feb. 22, 2010.

O'Ree gave up baseball for greater purpose

Former Minor Leaguer turned blind eye to color barrier in NHL
February 2, 2024

This article was first published on Feb. 13, 2006. When Willie O'Ree met Jackie Robinson in 1949, Robinson asked him what sports he played. The 14-year-old O'Ree, who was visiting New York because his baseball team won a local championship, told Robinson he played baseball and hockey. Robinson was surprised

Horne made history with 'home run cycle'

Former slugger puts baseball history in perspective
January 29, 2024

This article was first published on Aug. 10, 2006.

Mud Hens pay tribute to Toledo Tigers

Short-lived Negro National League club honored on 100th anniversary
@RobTnova24
October 12, 2023

Baseball history runs rich and deep in Toledo, Ohio. On Sept. 16 at Fifth Third Field, the Mud Hens paid tribute to their roots with a celebration of the Toledo Tigers, the city's first Negro League team, which played just 28 games before being disbanded in 1923. "An entire generation

Wind Surge pay tribute to Wichita's baseball roots

Twins affiliate changes identity to the Monrovians for special game
August 9, 2023

Baseball history is like the ocean: there’s so much yet to be explored and there is always a new story to be found. On Saturday, one of those stories was told when the Wichita Wind Surge paid tribute to the Wichita Monrovians. For the night, the Twins' Double-A affiliate wore

Omaha's celebration of Rockets takes flight

Talent-laden barnstorming club played in area for three seasons
@RobTnova24
July 17, 2023

The Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers celebrated their diversity night by taking the field as the Omaha Rockets, and lived up to that billing by blasting off for an 8-3 victory over Indianapolis. Part of the club's community celebration series, Saturday was Omaha's Negro Leagues Tribute Game at Werner Park. The

Asheville Blues coast to victory again

Tourists commemorate Blues with reimagined jerseys and caps
@RobTnova24
July 15, 2023

The Asheville Tourists morphed into the the Asheville Blues on Friday night, and cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash in front of a sellout crowd at McCormick Field. It was a familiar result for the Blues, who were one of the most successful professional Black baseball teams

Hartford suits up as Schoolboys to celebrate Juneteenth

Yard Goats honor local legend Johnny "Schoolboy" Taylor
@RobTnova24
June 24, 2023

The Hartford Yard Goats took on the identity of the "Hartford Schoolboys" for the first time on Friday night to honor legendary Negro Leagues pitcher -- and Hartford native -- Johnny "Schoolboy" Taylor, as part of the club's Juneteenth/Celebration of Negro League Baseball at Dunkin' Park. Taylor's daughter, Lynette Taylor,

Rickwood Field to host MLB, MiLB games in 2024

Cardinals-Giants, Barons-Biscuits to play at historic ballpark next season as part of Negro Leagues tribute
June 20, 2023

Major League Baseball has announced that Rickwood Field, the oldest professional ballpark in the United States and former home of the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues, will be the site of a special Regular Season contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants on June 20,

Grizzlies, Jumbo Shrimp honor Negro Leagues

Fresno and Jacksonville don alternate identities, salute rich history
@RobTnova24
June 18, 2023

For the second consecutive year, the Fresno Grizzlies transformed into the Fresno Tigers to pay tribute to the 1946 West Coast Negro League baseball team on Friday night at Chukchansi Park. Since scant visual representation of the Fresno Tigers has survived, the club donned newly reimagined Tigers uniforms as part

Lookouts, Barons celebrate the Negro Leagues

Chattanooga, Birmingham honor historic Choo-Choos, Black Barons
@RobTnova24
June 11, 2023

For the second straight season, Double-A Chattanooga celebrated Negro League Appreciation Weekend. The event started on Friday and continued Saturday night as the Lookouts hosted the Barons at AT&T Field. For both games, the two clubs donned commemorative uniforms. The Lookouts suited up as the Chattanooga Choo-Choos to honor the

The year after Jackie, Ritchey integrated PCL

This season marks 75th anniversary of San Diegan's breakthrough
@JoshJacksonMiLB
April 17, 2023

This story originally ran on MiLB.com on Feb. 21, 2018. We are highlighting it again now in honor of the 75th anniversary of John Ritchey breaking the PCL color barrier.

Charles: 'Blacks had to be twice as good'

Robinson disciple endured racism in Minors in Deep South
February 27, 2023

This article was first published on Feb. 1, 2006, prior to Ed Charles' passing in 2018.

Full circle: Bud Fowler enshrined in Hall

19th-century Black baseball trailblazer grew up in Cooperstown
July 23, 2022

Bud Fowler, the first Black player in professional baseball history, grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y. He returned there on July 22, 2022 -- 109 years after his death -- when he received his long-overdue induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fowler's career, improbable and wholly unique, began in the

The Day Jackie Came To Town

A Forgotten Game Remembered on the 75th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson’s Historic Day
12:34 PM EDT

In the Sun Herald Sports section on Wednesday, October 21, 1953, the headline of a column read “Jackie Robinson All-Stars Slate Biloxi Appearance.” In the five-paragraph announcement, readers were informed that an opportunity to see “Big League baseball stars in action” was coming to the Gulf Coast on November 2