Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and More Stars Honor Baseball's Black Pioneers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2020

** FILE ** In this Jan. 27, 2005 file photo,  bronze statues of Negro League greats including pitcher Satchel Paige, front, play their positions on the Field of Legends, which is the centerpiece of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. Three and a half years after the death of museum founder and ambassador Buck O'Neil, the museum is finding itself on shaky financial ground. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
CHARLIE RIEDEL/Associated Press

In honor of the 100-year anniversary of the Negro Leagues' founding, several big names both in and out of baseball took time to virtually tip their caps to past stars.

Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and more were among those who took part in the virtual salute, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter all created videos as well.

Several current and former baseball personalities also joined the activity, including former greats like Dave Winfield and Rick Sutcliffe along with modern stars like CC Sabathia, Nelson Cruz and Lorenzo Cain.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick, who started the movement, said his favorite addition came from the family of Jackie Robinson, including his wife Rachel.

"It's Rachel tipping her cap, but there's four generations of Robinson women in that video talking about our common cause, and it evokes the kind of emotion at a time when our country really needs it," Kendrick said.

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There was initially supposed to be a leaguewide tribute to baseball's Black pioneers across MLB on June 27, but the delayed season because of the coronavirus caused the celebration to be moved online.

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