Houston Astros Hosting Civil Rights Game

Houston Astros Hosting Civil Rights Game

The Houston Astros will be hosting the 2014 Civil Rights Game with the team taking the field in the uniform of the Houston Eagles, the only Negro League team from Texas.

The Astros will be playing the Orioles who will be paying homage to the Baltimore Elite Giants, a 1940s-era, Maryland Negro League team.

The Civil Rights game celebrates the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and pays tribute to the many Negro League players and teams that plied their trade bringing baseball to underserved communities across the nation and without much recognition in the days before baseball’s full integration.

A special awards luncheon is also scheduled for Friday. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will speak and pay tribute to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

The recently departed African American poet Maya Angelou as well as the founder of Motown Records and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Berry Gordy and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown will all be honored at the luncheon this year.

The Astros’ Minute Maid Stadium will join Memphis, Cincinnati, Atlanta. and Chicago as a host to the Civil Rights game.

The first 15,000 fans to enter the stadium will receive a special commemorative Civil Rights Game cap. A postgame fireworks display with a Motown theme will also be conducted.

In 2012, the Astros attempted to use their 1962-64 jersey with the “Colt 45s” logo as a “retro uniform” but Major League Baseball ruled that the team wasn’t allowed to do so for fear of getting crosswise with anti-gun advocates. Eventually, though, fans and the team won out and MLB reversed its decision and the Astros used the old logo, gun and all, that pays indirect homage to one of the basic civil rights enumerated in the Constitution.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com