Tigers Host 15th Annual Negro Leagues Weekend, Presented By Come - WNEM TV 5

Tigers Host 15th Annual Negro Leagues Weekend, Presented By Comerica Bank, June 30 - July 2

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DETROIT- The Detroit Tigers host the franchise's 15th annual Negro Leagues Weekend June 30 – July 2 as the Tigers host the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park. On Saturday, July 1 the Tigers will don the throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Cleveland Indians will suit up as the Cleveland Buckeyes, for the second game of the doubleheader, during the 23rd Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, presented by Comerica Bank. The annual Negro Leagues Weekend marks the longest running three-day celebration of its kind in Major League Baseball.

The Detroit Tigers will pay tribute to several former Negro Leagues players as current and former Tigers players and special guests all come together for a weekend full of events celebrating the contributions of Negro Leagues players to the game of baseball.

The Tigers will offer an exclusive Negro Leagues Weekend ticket package, which includes a game ticket, a Detroit Stars Fedora and a donation to the Friends of the Historic Hamtramck Stadium – a group dedicated to preserving the field used by Negro Leagues teams, including the Detroit Stars. For more information or to purchase the ticket package, visit tigers.com/negroleagues of for groups 15 or more, contact Corey Bell at Corey.Bell@tigers.com.

Friday, June 30 vs. Cleveland Indians at 7:10 p.m. Gates Open Early at 5:00 p.m.

  • 11th Annual Detroit Stars Singing Competition: The Tigers have partnered with Radio One for the 11th annual Detroit Stars Singing Competition. The competition will take place at the Big Cat Court and will be hosted by Tune Up of Radio One's 105.9 FM WDMK starting at 5:30pm. The 10 finalists will be judged by celebrities Jarrad Davis, Lions Linebacker, 2017 first-round selection, renowned vocal coach, Shirley Smith and TV personality and entertainment reporter, Lee Thomas. The winner of the Detroit Stars Singing Competition will receive a grand prize of $2,000 and the opportunity to sing the national anthem prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday September 23, 2017.
  • “Passing of the Bat Ceremony”: The Detroit Tigers continue the celebration of African American ballplayers and their numerous contributions to the game of baseball.  The on-field ceremony includes the annual “Passing of the Bat” which embodies the past, present and future contributions of African American ballplayers to the game of baseball and includes ballplayers from many eras of Detroit baseball. The individuals in the pregame ceremony include Walt Owens, a former Negro Leagues player who was a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman for the Detroit Stars from 1953-1955, Tigers alumni including, Rod Allen, Willie Horton and Jake Wood, current Tigers players and coaches and Steve Mann from Detroit Country Day, a top African American high school prospect from Michigan.
  • The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Deontae Brown, the great grandson of National Baseball Hall of Famer and Negro Leagues player Norman “Turkey” Stearnes and Jarrad Davis of the Detroit Lions.
  • The national anthem will be performed by Joyce Stearnes Thompson and Rosilyn Stearnes Brown, daughters of Norman “Turkey” Stearnes.
  • A series of banners will be displayed throughout the weekend along the concourse chronicling the history of African American players with the Detroit Tigers.
  • Negro Leagues merchandise will be sold by Tony Dee’s Negro Leagues Baseball Store and Apparel throughout the weekend.

23rd Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, Saturday, July 1 (GM. 2) vs. Cleveland Indians at 7:10 p.m.

  • The first 10,000 fans to enter the park will receive a Negro Leagues Duffle Bag, courtesy of Comerica Bank.
  • Comerica Bank will host a special ceremony to pay tribute to Cornerstone Schools, an organization that Comerica Bank has been proud to support for more than twenty years. Nathaniel Bennett, Rhonda Davenport Johnson, Larry Bryan, Patricia Alexander, Kevin Watkins, and Janice Tessier will participate in the ceremony representing Comerica Bank along with David Bologna, the Senior Development Officer for Cornerstone Schools.
  • Eight former Negro Leagues players will be recognized during a special pre-game on-field ceremony. Members include: Minnie Forbes, Eugene Scruggs, Bill Hill, Walt Owens, Pedro Sierra, Ron Teasley, Jake Sanders and Johnny Walker.
  • The ceremonial first pitches will be thrown by former Negro Leagues player and the 1956 owner of the Detroit Stars baseball team, Minnie Forbes and Nathaniel Bennett, representing Comerica Bank.
  • The national anthem will be performed by Rebecca Eaddy.

Sunday, July 2 vs. Cleveland Indians at 1:10 p.m. Gates Open Early at 11:00 a.m.

  • All kids 14-and-under will receive a Justin Upton poster, presented By AMP Radio.
  • Prior to the game, the Tigers will host a live pregame interview with former Tiger Gary Sheffield in the Big Cat Court as part of the Negro Leagues weekend events. Following the interview, fans can participate in a brief Q&A.
  • The Tigers will present former Tiger Gary Sheffield with the 2017 Detroit Tigers Willie Horton African American Legacy Award during a special pregame on-field ceremony. The Detroit Tigers African American Legacy Award was first presented to former Tiger and 1968 World Champion, Gates Brown in 2009.  Additional recipients of the award include: Jake Wood (2010), Earl Wilson (2012), Larry Herndon (2013), Bill Bruton (2014), Lou Whitaker (2015) and Chet Lemon (2016). A plaque chronicling the history of the African American Legacy Award recipients is on display in the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell Media Center.
  • The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former Tiger Gary Sheffield, recipient of the 2017 Detroit Tigers Willie Horton African American Legacy Award.
  • The national anthem will be performed by 15-year-old Caleb Carrol.

Individual game tickets are available at the Comerica Park Box Office, online at tigers.com and by phone at (866) 66-TIGER (84437). For complete ticket information including season, group and suites visit tigers.com/tickets or call 313-471-BALL (2255).

About The Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers, Inc., a charter member of the American League in 1901, have won four World Series and 11 American League pennants. An Ilitch organization, the Tigers play their home games at Comerica Park located within The District Detroit, one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Development of Michigan, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., MotorCity Casino Hotel and Champion Foods. For more information, visit www.Tigers.com, www.DistrictDetroit.com and www.IlitchCompanies.com.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Located in the heart of Detroit, this 50-block, mixed-use development led by the Ilitch organization unites eight world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions – The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

Copyright Detroit Tigers 2017.  All rights reserved.

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