More To The Story: Learning about “The Nine”

A new outreach program this year for minor league baseball, including the Lookouts

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – It’s a new outreach program being rolled out by Minor League Baseball.

It’s called “The Nine.” Honoring all of the great Black players that have made such an impact on the sport of MILB.

Why the nine? That’s the number the legendary Jackie Robinson wore during his only season in the minors.

The initiative will specifically target the African American community, hoping to engage one and all, young and old, in a centralized campaign.

Lookouts GM Rich Mozingo says that’s been a priority before. But we need to do more.

“I think it’s upon us now to do a better job of reaching out to the African American community. It’s incumbent upon us. And ask them to be a part of what we’re doing here. We’ve always had a solid fan base in that community here in Chattanooga. But we need to do a better job. And this program is a kickstart for us.”

Mozingo says he once invited a man to the ballyard, and asked him why he’s never come before. The man said no one ever asked him.
In a sense, this new program is specifically asking the Black community to join the festivities.
But it’ll be a challenge. As overall, the number of Black ballplayers is dwindling. That certainly correlates to African American fans at the ballpark.

“I would think so. There’s fewer African American ballplayers than there has been in yours and my lifetime. Now, there’s initiatives out there to address that, to include RBI. Hopefully, we’ll ramp things up and drive that forward.

MILB’s 2017 initiative to engage the Latino community has been a huge success with the Lookouts and many other teams.
The minor leagues now want to show that same respect….to the African American community.
Dave Staley, News 12 Now

Categories: Local News, More To The Story With Staley, Sports – Local Sports News

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