This past week, the MLB Network revealed the roster for the first HBCU Swingman Classic.
Ken Griffey Jr., a renowned baseball player and Hall of Famer, took the initiative to organize the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic, motivated by his desire to give back to the sport, following in his father’s footsteps.
As a Youth Development Foundation Ambassador for MLB and the MLB Players Association, Griffey has dedicated himself to molding the growth and development of young athletes. During the upcoming All-Star Week in July, the HBCU Swingman Classic will take place.
According to the MLB, this event sets to celebrate the rich history and legacy of HBCUs baseball programs. Additionally, it will provide a “once in a lifetime” platform for 50 talented HBCU baseball players to showcase their skills on a national stage. These athletes have been carefully selected by a committee comprising Griffey Jr., representatives from MLB and MLBPA, as well as scouts. Throughout the week, they will participate in various activities related to the MLB All-Star Week and engage with the local community.
“It gives an opportunity for these guys to be seen; plus, they want to continue their baseball career like everybody else,” Griffey said to the MLB. “This is an opportunity for these guys to be out there on a big stage, to have some fun with some guys who played the game at a high level and learn some things.”
Players were selected from the following schools:
- Alabama A&M University
- Alabama State University
- Alcorn State University
- University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- Bethune Cookman University
- Coppin State University
- Delaware State University
- Florida A&M University
- Grambling State University
- Jackson State University
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Norfolk State University
- North Carolina A&T University
- Prairie View A&M University
- Southern University
- Texas Southern University
The classic will happen July 7 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, the site of the 2023 MLB All-Star Game. Fans will be able to catch it live on the MLB Network.