08/17/20: MLB paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Negro National League


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Medias First Morning Read
Monday August 17, 2020

MLB celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League on Sunday, with all players, managers, coaches and umpires wearing a commemorative logo patch on their uniforms during the day’s games in addition to being featured on base jewels and lineup cards. On the local front, FOX Sports South will dedicate this week to the milestone with a series that will run within Braves live pregame shows, with expanded coverage through social media channels featuring a discussion with former Negro Southern League players Reginald Howard, Sam Allen and Larry LeGrande, hosted by Jerome Jurenovich, in addition to conversations with FOX Sports broadcaster and African American historian Mike “Stinger” Glenn and President, Center for Negro League Research Dr. Layton Revel. Cynopsis asked Jamie Shapiro, Executive Producer, FOX Sports South and Colleen Sullivan, Coordinating Producer – Original Content, FOX Sports South, about the project.

On the genesis of the project:

Shapiro: This week of special content has really been a year in the making. In planning this season’s Atlanta Braves coverage, we were looking to create a content initiative for the 2020 season that tapped into the tremendous historical stories surrounding baseball in the South. So many Negro League legends hail from the South, and with 2020 being the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, we wanted to celebrate their legacies and illuminate their stories. These are historically significant and legendary players, who had the ability to play at the highest levels of the sport, but found those doors to MLB closed.

Sullivan: The importance of telling these stories is two-fold: we want to educate people about this group of truly outstanding baseball players that casual fans don’t know much about and use these examples as a way to help grow baseball in the African-American community. Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, made a great point in one of our interviews – he said African-American youth can look at the NFL & NBA and see athletes who look like them and will aspire to become great in those sports. With only 7.7% of MLB being African-American in 2019, those same kids don’t see people like them represented in the league. By telling these Negro League stories, we’re showcasing the careers of many outstanding African-American baseball players and letting diverse youth know they too can excel in baseball.

Sullivan on what to expect: The final product will include six days of original content beginning Sunday, 8/16 with the official MLB celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Negro Leagues and ending on Saturday, 8/22 with Hank Aaron Weekend. Each day during Braves LIVE pregame shows we’ll be airing interviews with Negro Leagues players, historians and community builders and will include a Hometown Tribune vignette series to honor the legendary players from the South. Full features will also be available on our Twitter and YouTube platforms.

On former players: We found the players willing to talk about all aspects of their careers in the Negro Leagues, but mostly they wanted to talk baseball. Their stories aren’t about the adversity they faced during their careers, but rather the triumph over that adversity in continuing to play a sport they so clearly loved.

On what surprised them:

Shapiro: There’s an element of “what if?” when thinking about what might have happened had these players had the opportunity to play in MLB. They faced challenges to play the game, but more than anything, these players talked about baseball and the love of the game that unites their stories. These players forged their own path to do something they loved to do.

Sullivan: The biggest surprise to me was the Negro Leagues included Latin players and women as well. FOX Sports’ Mike “Stinger” Glenn, our resident Negro Leagues historian told me, “it didn’t matter if you were black, green, purple or a woman, if you could play, you were welcome in the Negro Leagues.”


The fourth and final UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final match pitting Manchester City/Lyon handed Univision with 1.18 million Total Viewers 2+ with 573,000 Adults 18-49 from 3-5p on Univision with a simulcast on TUDN. Overall, TUDN’s live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals averaged 958,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 456,000 Adults 18-49 across Univision’s networks, according to Nielsen.

GOLF Channel reports that Thursday’s round of 16 match play coverage at the 2020 U.S. Amateur, drew 167,000 viewers per minute, up 476% vs. 2019 at Pinehurst and 88% vs. 2018 at Pebble Beach. That is good enough to rank as the most watched US Amateur cable telecast in 10 years as well as the most-watched U.S. Amateur Thursday telecast in 16 years.

NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live expands to six hours of daily coverage starting today at 10a. Inside Training Camp Live coverage airs daily through Sept. 4 to offer in-depth coverage and access, interviews with players and coaches, analysis from former players, head coaches and front office executives, and live reports from training camps around the league. In addition, NFL Total Access expands to two hours starting today at 7p with hosts Colleen Wolfe, Rhett Lewis and Steve Wyche, and a rotating cast of NFL Network analysts.

Today also sees SEC Network’s news & information show, SEC Now, return live and in studio on SEC Network at 7p. The network’s signature studio show pivoted over the past five months to a digital offering, SEC For Now. Dari Nowkhah, Peter Burns and Alyssa Lang return as anchors of the show.

Starting today, fans of Dan LeBatard and Stugotz on ESPN Radio can listen to new daily podcast-exclusive content with two new offerings per day. A new digital-only episode will be recorded and posted before their 10a national radio show. Following the radio program, Dan and Stugotz will record more thoughts and ramblings as a digital-only “post-game show.” In addition, each hour of the radio show – as well as their local hour heard in Miami – will continue to be available as podcasts.

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Bubba Wallace announced Friday that DoorDash signed up

as a partner and will appear for seven races this season as a primary sponsor of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet. “Biggest deal, one of the things I’ve been praying for for a really long time,” Wallace told NBC’s Today. “So these last couple weeks, we’ve announced a lot of new partnerships coming in — DoorDash, Columbia, Beats. I’m just a walking ambassador right now, but I love it. Very thankful for all these companies and organizations to want to be a part of this journey.”

Rakuten gears up for the NBA Playoffs with Drop 40, a special campaign that will see Rakuten unlock 40 special prizes every time an NBA player scores 40 or more points in an NBA Playoffs or NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV game. “The arrival of the NBA Playoffs gives basketball fans around the world a little more optimism for the future and Drop 40 makes it a more fun and rewarding experience for everyone,” said Amit Patel, CEO of Rakuten Americas and Rakuten Rewards. “As a company whose name means ‘optimism,’ we are proud to collaborate with partners like the NBA that can deliver a positive fan experience in challenging times. The NBA has navigated the uncertainty of this season with integrity and care, and we are very proud to be a partner.”


Fanatics reportedly raised $350 million in its latest investment round and appears to be preparing for an initial public offering. The Wall Street Journal writes that the Series E funding round is likely to be the prelude to an initial public offering with the company raising approximately $1.5 billion in investment since 2011.

The National Independent Soccer Association announced FotMob, the mobile matchday app, as its official livescore partner. FotMob began delivering scores, news and highlights of NISA fixtures, teams and players over the weekend. “We are thrilled to have a partnership with FotMob,” says Vicky Lynch, NISA Corporate Partnerships. “The exposure from being on their app will be tremendous for NISA’s continued growth. It is strong partnerships with top-tier service providers like FotMob that provide a great platform for our league and our clubs.”

Turner Sports tapped LiveLike to bring watch parties to the NBA Playoffs. During the NBA Playoffs, fans can invite their friends to watch parties where they can engage in private group chats that are spoiler free and synced to the live action and marks the first major U.S. sport partnership for LiveLike’s new interactive offering.


Formula 1 detailed plans for the 2020 F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco, beginning with the F1 Esports Pro Draft Reveal Show on Aug. 27. The F1 Esports Series marks the fourth installment of F1’s digital racing scene, where the 10 official teams compete for a share of a $750,000 prize pool. Competition spans Oct.-Dec., with a 12-round championship made up of four events featuring three races each. The F1 Esports Pro Series 2020 will be broadcast on F1’s social channels (Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya), as well as select TV broadcast partners, with two live shows per event from the Gfinity Arena.

ESL announced the launch of an ESL Shop in Cologne at Xperion, the e-arena of Saturn, one of the leading consumer electronics retailers in Germany. Esports apparel will be offered when the on-ground shop opens with fans able to view and purchase ESL products for the first time in-store, offering limited edition ‘Graffiti Bomber Jackets’ and ‘Local Hero Cologne’ hoodies and t-shirts. Customers will be able to purchase esports team jerseys, including beloved German teams SK Gaming, BIG and mousesports, as well as popular collectable items such as CS:GO and Dota 2 figures.

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On this Day
1984: Pete Rose returns to the Reds as a player/manager.

In the Know
Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart formed what legendary tag team in pro wrestling? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who portrayed Marshall head coach Jack Lengyel in the movie “We Are Marshall”? Answer: Matthew McConaughey. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Real Estate/NY; Christian Matthews-Washington Football Team/NY; Barbara Capella Loehr-Equal Opportunity Publications/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; C.J. Bottitta-Big Picture Productions/Apex; Roger Furman-Sports Marketing Communications/Greentown; ichael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Kyle Krebs-Intersection/Dallas; Rob Carolla/Dallas; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA

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