The Texas Rangers will host the HBCU Swingman Classic at Globe Life Field, marking the beginning of All-Star Week in 2024. The event will feature 50 players from historically Black colleges and universities, aiming to showcase their skills and spotlight the legacies of HBCU programs. The classic is scheduled for July 12 and will be aired live on MLB Network.

Why It Matters

The event aims to address the decline of Black players in Major League Baseball, emphasizing the importance of creating opportunities and exposure for players from underrepresented communities.

By the Numbers
  • The percentage of Black or African American players in MLB was 6.2% on Opening Day 2023, showing a 1% decrease from the previous year.
  • Last year's HBCU Swingman Classic featured three players who were selected later in the 2023 MLB Draft out of the 50 participants.
State of Play
  • The luncheon held by the Texas Rangers featured MLB representatives and HBCU ambassadors, emphasizing the continuation of efforts to celebrate and support HBCU programs.
  • The event aims to create a homecoming-type environment and provide a platform for HBCU players to showcase their skills on a larger stage.
  • The conversation highlighted the significance of events like the HBCU Swingman Classic in growing the game within Black communities and addressing the decline of Black players in MLB.
What's Next

The hope is that the event serves as a steppingstone for HBCU ballplayers and leads to increased opportunities and impact within the community.

Bottom Line

The HBCU Swingman Classic at Globe Life Field represents a significant effort to provide exposure and opportunities for Black players in Major League Baseball, aiming to address the decline of Black representation within the sport.