2012 Civil Rights Game: Atlanta Braves host Los Angeles Dodgers
The Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game first took place in Spring Training in 2007, in Memphis, Tenn. To date, the host city has received two consecutive Civil Rights Game events, moving to Cincinnati from 2009-10 and now Atlanta.
The true nature of this event is to “embrace baseball’s history of African-American players” and celebrate the game’s connection to the nation’s civil rights movements. Other sources see it as a way to promote the game to all potential minority players and groups, while a few media outlets have jumped at the opportunity to point out the decline of African American players in the Majors, and increase in other minority groups.
We recommend the following reads to learn more about this annual game and the notable events taking place this weekend: First MLB.com story on today’s game and a good clip of a mid-game interview with Hank Aaron.
Check in around the 1 min. 40 sec. mark for Aaron’s discussion on the importance of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, and some interesting insight on the importance of Robinson’s success on the field. Additional sources worth a look: MLB dedicated page on its brief history and “Why you should care about the Civil Rights Game,” by AJ Willingham on HLNTV.com.
We of course are here to focus on the Rawlings MLB Official Commemorative Baseball set to be used throughout the game (we assume) by the Braves and Dodgers.
After hours of research through images and articles, we’ve still never seen a reference or picture of a special event ball being used in the 2007 or 2008 spring training iterations of this game, or the 2009 match-up. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, as many baseballs sneak by us at first, (if not for years) but it’s unlikely.
The first time Major League Baseballs granted the game its own designated ball was in 2010 in Cincinnati. I’d also attached pictures of the 2011 and 2012 version of this ball, but they’re the exact same:
Most commemorative game ball collectors always prefer something new for each event, even just minor changes. But for autograph collectors? Maybe using the same logo is beneficial. And there’s no reason to change the main Civil Right Game logo each year aside from perhaps noting the host city, teams, and year or full date.
Unfortunately, that really isn’t really the logo on the game ball. It’s just the text. We’ve been hoping to see the real logo (below) from this event to be used for two years, but I suppose we’re just not reaching the right people. Sure, the logo is probably too wide to reproduce on the small canvass that is a baseball. But you could easily split it up, with the design MLB Civil Rights Game Logo portion on top, and text below, right?
Perhaps we’ll come up with our own design to recommend for next year’s game. Worth noting – when first made and used, these commemoratives were nearly impossible to find. It was a game-used variety only if you wanted one, and that likely meant attending the game and being lucky/skilled enough to snag one yourself. We had one small special order available in 2010 – and several dedicated collectors were able to pick them up.
By 2011, rumors were Atlanta at least offered a small amount at souvenir stands in Turner Field. This season? Everybody wins, thanks to our friends at USA Sports Marketing. They have special ordered and stocked this (moderately) rare Official Game Ball for fans and collectors. Check them out, and keep an eye out for their 2012 World Series Baseballs, as well as a few surprises from the past that we here at Big League Baseballs have never seen before!
Oh and, don’t forget to watch the game tonight. You really should. (Check MLB Network in most markets).
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