MLB Network will broadcast a special documentary
on the Negro Leagues, to coincide with Martin
Luther King, Jr. Day, and the eve of President-
elect Barack Obama’s historic inauguration.
MLB Network announced today that it will pay tribute to the Negro Leagues with the debut documentary Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues, airing at 9:00 p.m. ET on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 19. This never before aired one-hour special is narrated by Hall of Famer and Negro Leagues advocate Dave Winfield. Debuting on the eve of President-elect Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, the documentary will depict the history of African Americans in the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball.
Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues will feature the history of Negro Leagues baseball players in the early half of the century leading up to the modern era’s African-American Major League Baseball players. Produced by Major League Baseball Productions, Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues, will showcase rarely seen footage from the 1920s through 1950s that feature the birth of the Negro Leagues, and that depict both the struggles endured and milestones achieved by its players. Footage will also highlight the Negro Leagues’ innovations that helped shape modern day baseball, such as the Leagues’ usage of portable light towers to enable games to be played after dusk for the first time ever.
The program includes Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and on April 15, 1947 becoming the first African American in the modern era to play on a Major League team.
“The impact of the Negro Leagues changed not only the sport of baseball, but our culture and society,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of Major League Baseball Network. “This documentary will take our viewers through this important milestone in American history.”
“As the United States prepares to welcome our first African American President, this special will help paint the picture of how baseball played a role in leading up to this moment,” said Winfield. “The Negro Leagues players were some of the best athletes of all-time and we hope this special can tell their story to a broader audience.”
Winfield played an integral role in the Special Negro Leagues Player Draft in 2008, which allowed for all 30 teams to ceremonially draft a player whose career included the Negro Leagues.
Source: MLB Network
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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