The Reds got high marks for a job well done hosting the Civil Rights Game the past two years as the event transitioned from its birthplace in Memphis to a big league ballpark for the first time.
Cincinnati, a city not know for its civil rights movement history, packed the ballpark for a pair of regular season games while mixing in a variety of fan-friendly and educational events—like round-table discussions and awards galas that have become staples of the Civil Right Game as well as highlighting the city's role in the Underground Railroad.
Perhaps no higher praise can come from Dave Chase, the former Memphis Redbirds general manager who created the Civil Rights Game in 2007 before seeing Major League Baseball relocate it two years later. "They did a marvelous presentation that I thought tied in the Civil Rights Movement with the game," Chase said before last month's event.
Here's hoping that Atlanta can follow in the Reds' footsteps as it hosts the Civil Rights Game over the next two seasons.
No big league city can match the historical significance in the civil rights movement of Atlanta, the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (of which King was its first president). The local historically black colleges produced many leaders of the movement and organized many sit-ins during the 1960s.
Atlanta is also home to the King Center and the Carter Center.
"The Civil Rights Game weekend has become one of the premier celebrations on the Major League Baseball calendar. We are pleased to have the Atlanta Braves and city of Atlanta as hosts for this imporant event remembering a significant era in America's history," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a release.
Added Braves president John Schuerholz: "The Atlanta Braves are extremely proud and honored that our organization and our great city were selected to host the Civil Rights Game for 2011 and 2012. We look forward with great anticipation and excitement to presenting these significant, meaningful games in the finest fashion."