The inaugural Civil Rights Game — played in Memphis on March 31, 2007, between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians — drew rave reviews from both local and national figures. Celebrating baseball's role in the civil rights movement, the game itself was merely a springboard for discussion and served to connect two downtown Memphis treasures: AutoZone Park and the National Civil Rights Museum.
The second annual Civil Rights Game will take place this Saturday, in its rightful home at Third and Union. Representing the National League will be the New York Mets (managed by an African American, it should be noted, with a Latino general manager), while the Chicago White Sox (African-American general manager and Latino manager) will carry the flag for the American League. This year's Beacon Award honorees include Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (Major League Baseball's first African-American manager), actress Ruby Dee, and publisher John H. Johnson.
A panel discussion — titled "Baseball and the Civil Rights Movement" — will take place at the National Civil Rights Museum on Friday, a week before the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's death.
Civil Rights Game 2008, Saturday, March 29th, at 4 p.m. at AutoZone Park. Tickets are $30 to $75. For more information, contact the Memphis Redbirds at 721-6000.