First time is a charm! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida’s week full baseball and fun at “A Week with Baseball Legends” September 17-24, 2016 was a success. In partnership with Mayor Lenny Curry, the City of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Sports Council, the Jacksonville Suns, Patriot Rail, and MLB Alumni Association we supported youth mentoring in Northeast Florida as well as honored the history of Negro League Baseball in Jacksonville.
September 16, 2016 — Free Movie Showing at the JP Small Memorial Stadium
Kids and families enjoyed a free movie night and free popcorn at the J.P. Small Memorial Stadium featuring the movie “42” which shows the life of baseball legend, Jackie Robinson.
September 19, 2016 — Negro League Traveling Exhibit Opens
The traveling exhibits from the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City at the Ritz Theatre and Museum drew nice sized crowds for the week, all thanks to the Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic.
September 23, 2016 — “Dinner with Legends” Fundraiser Gala
Major League All-Stars Vince Coleman, Amos Otis, Willie Wilson, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson all came together for a magical evening of baseball excitement at the Times Union Center. In addition to the former players, our special guests for the dinner included Sarah Burns and David McMahon who wrote and produced “Jackie Robinson,” the Ken Burns documentary that aired in April on PBS. The dinner highlighted the rich history of the Negro Leagues in Jacksonville, honoring the last surviving member of the Negro Leagues from Jacksonville, Harold “Buster” Hair, with the Bill Lucas Humanitarian Award. The late Bill Lucas, the first African American Major League General Manager with the Atlanta Braves, was from Jacksonville.
Proceeds from this fundraising dinner and gala were used to support BBBSNEFL’s youth mentoring programs and mission.
Local youth were invited to join the Legends at a fun and interactive baseball clinic with other former MLB players at the historic J.P. Small Field located in the historic Durkeeville community.