Posts Tagged ‘Black Heritage Night’

Black Heritage Night Was a Thing of Pride

August 23, 2013
Two Men of Appropriate Pride and Life-Leveling Humility: Charlie Pride (L) and Jimmy Wynn.

Men of Appropriate Pride and Life-Leveling Humility:                                                      the great Charlie Pride (L) and the great Jimmy Wynn.

And you can definitely take the headline of this column in the two ways it’s intended. The “Black Heritage Night” program of the Sugar Land Skeeters at Constellation Field that was offered as a pre-game feature on August 22, 2013 was both a night a pride in the unifying goal quality of black baseball players over the years and also a tribute to the program’s special guest, the great Charlie Pride, a country and western singing star who also spent his early years in pursuit of that same dream of the others as a  professional baseball player.

Bill McCurdy (#15) of The Pecan Park Eagle Press was on hand to covers things.

Bill McCurdy (#15) of The Pecan Park Eagle Press was on hand to cover things. – In this photo, the players read this way, left to right: BACK ROW: Kevin Bass, J.C. Hartman, Scipio Spinks, J.R. Richard, Cecil Cooper, Bob Watson, Trenidad Hubbard, Brian Williams, Anthony Young, and Chuck McElroy. FRONT ROW: Ralph Garr, Deacon Jones, Charlie Pride, Sylvester Cooper, Jimmy Wynn, and James Mouton. – This one terrific photo was contributed by good friend Darrell Pittman.

Charlie Pride & Company posed for a number of group photos this summer afternoon and beautiful summer evening.

Charlie Pride & Company posed for a number of group photos this summer afternoon and beautiful summer evening.

The guest list was long and celebrated. The crowd was first entertained by a concert performed by the “Ocean of Soul” band from Texas Southern University. Then, as a fun introduction at home plate, each of the former players arrived in his own personal chauffer-driven luxury car to be introduced and given his own named and numbered Sugar Land Skeeters jersey by Skeeters host Deacon Jones.

The home plate arrival scene at Constellation Field.

The home plate arrival scene at Constellation Field.

The group of former players on hand for the honor included Kevin Bass, Cecil Cooper, Ralph Garr, J.C. Hartman, Trenidad Hubbard, Chuck McEroy, James Mouton, Charlie Pride, J.R. Richard, Scipio Spinks, Bob Watson, Brian Williams, Jimmy Wynn, and Anthony Young, (If I somehow missed your name, please let me know by e-mail and I will make sure that it is included in this column. There was a lot to keep up with last night and I may have missed someone. –  houston.buff37@gmail.com

Charlie Pride took about 25-30 practice swings from the BP tosses of Scipio Spinks while he was on the field. He hit the ball hard, lining several for clean hits into the outfield gaps. - Pretty darn good for a man in mid to late 70's.

Charlie Pride took about 25-30 practice swings from the BP tosses of Scipio Spinks while he was on the field. He hit the ball hard, lining several for clean hits into the outfield gaps. – Pretty darn good for a man in his middle to late 70’s. Oh yeah, Charlie also threw out the first pitch prior to tonight’s Skeeters-Shellacking of the Camden Riversharks by a 10-1 mark.

Watching Charlie Pride pound the ball are: Michael Point, a writer for the Corpus Christi Hooks, Deacon Jones, Skeeters Manager Gary Gaetti, and Skeeters Special Advisor Tal Smith. The hits just rang and rang and rang.

Watching Charlie Pride pound the ball are: Michael Point, a writer for the Corpus Christi Hooks, Deacon Jones, Skeeters Manager Gary Gaetti, and Skeeters Special Advisor Tal Smith. The hits just rang and rang and rang.

One of the "Red Tails", that famed African-American group of fighter pilots from WWII was present too. Here we see him pictured with Marie Wynn. Now all we need is his name to give him the full credit he deserves.

One of the “Red Tails”, that famed African-American group of fighter pilots from WWII, was present also. Here we see him pictured with Marie Wynn. Now all we need is his name to give him the full credit he deserves.

Dick “Lefty” O’Neal and a large contingent of former Negro Leaguers were also present last night and I would be happy to also include their names here too, if someone could pass on an attendance roster to me. We would like to give everyone their personal nod for their participation in this beautiful evening.

The first 2,000 fans also got this handsome, welcoming bobble head of Deacon Jones to take home with them.

The first 2,000 fans also got this handsome, welcoming bobble head of Deacon Jones to take home with them.

The Deacon Bobber does one thing that the real Deacon NEVER does. He turns his back. The REAL Deacon never turns his back on justice, family, friends, or baseball - and that pretty well allows him to touch all the bases, 24/7.

The Deacon Bobber does one thing that the real Deacon NEVER does. He turns his back. The REAL Deacon never turns his back on the needs of justice, family, friends, or baseball – and that pretty well allows him to touch all the bases, 24/7.

Keep it up, Deacon Jones. Black Heritage Night needs to be thought of as the first offering of an annual event.

Skeeters Celebrate Black Heritage August 22nd

August 17, 2013
BLACK HERITAGE NIGHT ~ Rolling In on a TSU Ocean of Soul this Coming Thursday Night, Aug. 22nd, at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. ~ DON'T MISS IT!!!

BLACK HERITAGE NIGHT ~ Rolling In on a TSU Ocean of Soul this Coming Thursday Night, Aug. 22nd, at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. ~ DON’T MISS IT!!!

This coming Thursday night at Constellation Field, the winningest team in baseball, the Sugar Land Skeeters, are planning a major celebration of Black Heritage on their home turf and they are inviting all their fans in the Greater Houston area to take each other out to the ball game on a very special night to help make it as big a party as possible.

Deacon Jones Bobble Head Aug. 22, 2013

Deacon Jones
Bobble Head
Aug. 22, 2013

Former professional ballplayer and country and western music star, the great Charley Pride, is now also expected to be there too to join in the festivities with all the wonderful MLB celebrities that are congregating – and it is expected that all will be on hand for autographs too as part of the program.

The gates open at 5:30 PM. The Skeeters game with the Camden Riversharks starts promptly at 7:05 PM. In between those two ticks of the clock, a whole lot of soulful fun is planned for fans out on the green, green turf of home, starting with a performance by the famous “Ocean of Soul” Marching Band from Texas Southern University and a presentation including all those big names in Houston baseball history listed above – and then some. Word is out that we can also expect some surprise big names on the national level also checking in to speak on the big screen during the field program. The exact start of the speaking part of things is unknown at this time, but get there early and wait for whatever happens with the rest of us while the Ocean of Soul warms our blood.

Need another reason to get there early? Well, here it is: The first 2,000 fans through the gates this coming Thursday night will get there in time to have received one of those handsome Deacon Jones bobble heads, like that smiling soul you see in the photo on this page. – The designers of this great collector’s item have done a masterful job of depicting one of the greatest men of smiles and welcome in baseball. – It is “Deacon” to a T – with his hand of warm hello and welcome held high.

If the world ever gets around to founding a Great Human Beings Hall of Fame, please place my name in the company of those who will want to make sure that Deacon Jones is both nominated and inducted as a charter member. The man is just all heart and caring in everything he does. His plans flow like a passion river for doing the right thing – and for making sure that none of us ever forget the great trailblazers who used their abilities in the right way to make sure that black ballplayers enjoyed a place in the sun in baseball – from then to here to forever.

And that’s why none of you want to miss what Deacon Jones and the Sugar Land Skeeters have planned for us this coming Thursday night. It’s honest, so, please do both the fun and the right thing. Be there.

Check out the Sugar Land Skeeters website and get your tickets today. It’s going to be a very special night.

http://www.sugarlandskeeters.com/Home/