Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday that it will launch a Black community-focused outreach program called “The Nine,” designed to honor and celebrate the historic impact of the black baseball pioneers and civil rights leaders.
Nine is named in honor of the jersey number Jackie Robinson wore during his only season playing in the minor leagues (MiLB) with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946. It will offer new national programming and special events in a campaign to strengthen efforts in Black communities.
The announcement was made on the first day of Black History Month. The initiative also follows MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión – the Latino fan engagement platform introduced in 2017, which included 76 MiLB teams from last season.
MiLB said The Nine will focus on creating new opportunities for Black youth participation across 120 MiLB cities, particularly those where youth baseball and softball programs are available. age does not exist or is difficult to access.
At the heart of this push is MiLB’s plan to expand the Revival Baseball Program in Major League Baseball inner cities across the country. New competitions in MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run and Junior Home Run Derby events will launch in MiLB markets starting in 2022.
Nine will also try to further diversify its baseball business. Several small league teams are located in cities that have historically been home to black colleges and universities, and the program hopes to provide an opportunity for those schools to begin internships and mentor with local teams so students can gain work experience before entering the Job Market.
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https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/minor-league-baseball-launches-outreach-program-the-nine-to-engage-black-communities/3131933/ Minor League Baseball launches ‘The Nine’ outreach program to engage black community – NBC10 Philadelphia