Cincinnati Reds Civil Rights Game and Events - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati Reds Civil Rights Game and Events

The fourth annual Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game is right here in the Queen City.

Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game is be a regular season game and played at a major league ballpark.

The Cincinnati Reds will play against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday at 7:10pm.

The Civil Rights Game pays tribute to one of our country's most significant eras of social change and honors Major League Baseball's involvement in the historic struggle through which legendary African American players broke barriers and made important contributions to American society.

"Major League Baseball is committed to the significance and impact of this very important event," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Major League Baseball is excited to bring the Civil Rights Game to its new regular-season host City of Cincinnati. We hope that the community will embrace its importance and its message as we remember and honor the African American pioneers of our game."

The game culminates two days of events commemorating the Civil Rights Movement.

"As the final stop to freedom at the northern end of the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati played a significant role in the struggle to free our country from slavery and civil rights injustice," said Robert H. Castellini, Reds President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud that our team and our city will be involved with Major League Baseball and the Civil Rights Game in helping promote awareness of how baseball played a part in one of the most significant social changes in our nation's history."

"Cincinnati is proud to host the first regular-season Civil Rights Game," said Mayor Mark Mallory. "Cincinnati was the first point for freedom for many people. The Civil Rights game is an excellent opportunity to continue our ongoing national efforts to advance civil rights."

Cincinnati, a city rich with civil rights history, once served as a heavily traveled site in the passage to freedom for slaves during the years leading up to the American Civil War. The hidden trails, which became known as the "Underground Railroad," were the sites where many men and woman overcame harsh conditions and many dangers to free themselves from slavery.

A stone's throw away from the Great American Ball Park is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which opened its doors in 2004 and now serves as a reminder of the many stories about freedom's heroes and challenges everyone to take courageous steps for the freedoms of today.

2010 Gillette Civil Rights Game Weekend

MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon. Willie Mays, Billie Jean King and Harry Belafonte will receive MLB Beacon Awards, former congressman and U.S. ambassador Andrew Young will deliver the luncheon keynote address, and the Cardinals will visit the Reds on May 15 as Major League Baseball's Gillette Civil Rights Weekend returns to Cincinnati. The Beacon Awards Luncheon will be held at Duke Energy Convention Center.

Singer Lena Horne and Rachel Robinson -- the widow of Jackie Robinson -- will also be honored at the luncheon. There will also be a special tribute to the surviving members from a pivotal 1960 sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where African-Americans were once denied service at a "whites only" establishment.

There will be other events leading up to the Saturday night game, which will be carried live by MLB Network. The Baseball and the Civil Rights Movement roundtable discussion will return on May 14 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which is adjacent to the ballpark. Led by Harvard law professor and race-relations expert Charles Ogletree, the panel will include Reds great and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Reds former star Barry Larkin, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, actor Mark Curry and tennis legend Zina Garrison.

There will be a youth summit and the MLB "Wanna Play?" interactive area on Saturday in Fountain Square. It will include an open Q&A forum with Larkin and MLB Network colleague Harold Reynolds, actor Josh Hutcherson and members of the Reds and Cardinals. Last year, more than 2,500 children participated at the summit.

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks will throw out the ceremonial first pitch while Grammy Award winning recording artists Roberta Flack and Jeffrey Osbourne are scheduled to perform prior to the Civil Rights Game.

Complete event details at www.mlb.com/civilrightsgame.

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