Bo Porter on 2014 Civil Rights Game coming to Houston
Houston is known for its diversity, and now Major League Baseball has chosen the city as the host of the 2014 Civil Rights Game.
The game will be played at Minute Maid Park between the Astros and Baltimore Orioles on May 30, 2014. Other activities surrounding the game include the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion and a youth baseball and softball event.
“I am pleased to announce the Houston Astros, who have demonstrated a substantial commitment to supporting diversity throughout our industry, as the hosts of Major League Baseball’s 2014 Civil Rights Game,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a release. “The Civil Rights Game and its surrounding events are an opportunity not only for our game to honor those who have fought for equality throughout American history, but also to remind us that the battle against injustice continues. As a social institution that features unprecedented diversity of all races and ethnicities throughout our sport, we are proud to join the Astros in remembering this important era in history.”
“The Astros are honored to host the 2014 Civil Rights Game,” Astros owner and Chairman Jim Crane said. “We have been pleased to support Major League Baseball’s many initiatives over the past two seasons and look forward to continuing to do so. The Civil Rights Game and its activities are a great way for us to honor those that have fought for equality in the past, and to promote diversity and opportunity in our game moving forward.”
Baseball legend Frank Robinson, who was also the first African-American manager in Major League history, said it was a “no-brainer” to choose Houston as the host of the eighth installment of the Civil Rights Game.
“I really respect the ownership of this ball club,” Robinson said. “Jim Crane and his people came in here and have really taken the staff to new heights as far as diversity is concerned. We were happy to come here, and we couldn't wait to come here to tell him that we were going to present the Civil Rights Game to the Houston Astros.”
When Major League Baseball held its annual Diversity Business Summit in Houston this past summer, Selig said how proud he was of Crane for what he’s done in support of the league’s diversity initiatives, particularly with his staff and for the city’s youth.
“When we bought the team, we made it clear we were going to do a lot to give back to the community,” Crane said. “We started with the ball fields and supporting the MLB diversity program. We had the summit here. So, we've been very focused in our hiring practices to make sure we do the right things.
“We have a very diverse work force – we've got our manager, we've got the first African-American (radio) announcer and we're very proud of that. If you stay focused on it, which we have, you can make a difference and that's what we're trying to do in the city of Houston.”
“I am extremely proud to be the manager of the Houston Astros,” Bo Porter said. “The efforts in which Jim Crane and the entire organization have basically taken the lead in being out front with diversity and basically a joint effort with MLB and just bringing awareness to all things in which MLB is stressing within the communities as far as diversity – getting more African Americans involved in playing baseball, the initiative in our foundation and building these fields in much-needed areas and underprivileged areas. Kids will now actually have a place to go play the game.”