The Phillies and Braves are teaming up on May 15 to bring you a celebratory regular season game; baseball’s version of the Winter Classic–only with more themes present than “It’s fucking cold as balls out here,” and “Gosh, I hope Sidney’s okay.”Yes, the NL East has snatched the annual Civil Rights Game away from the Cincinnati Reds. The contest will play out at Turner Field and both teams will be wearing uniforms “reminiscent” of Negro League squads.
The game’s importance lies in the fact that it is the official end of Spring Training, meaning we can all grab our bullhorns, cheap beer, glow-in-the-dark frisbees, spandex body suits, and prolific, relentless cursing and head back to the ballpark. Finally.
Its also meant to honor the critical cultural changes the civil rights era brought about, which many would correctly argue is more important than all that stuff I just said. There is a four day event prior to the game itself, with round table discussions and luncheons being scheduled throughout Atlanta, hometown of Martin Luther King (whom Ryan Howard’s parents marched with).
We can trace the game’s history all the way back to 2007, when Bud Selig picked a baseball team with kind of a racist name, the Indians, to play in a game meant to, again, honor the critical cultural changes the civil rights era brought about. To be fair, Bud will likely even out that little wrinkle by adding another tier to the MLB post season. So let’s give the man some credit.