BCSG 360 and Black College Nines Announce HBCU World Series Presented By Hank Aaron Sports Academy

In its inaugural year, the HBCU World Series presented by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy is a matchup that will feature two HBCU baseball conference champions in the NCAA Division I classification; the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) pitted against the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The two conference tournament winners will go to battle in a three-game series to crown an HBCU baseball national champion. The event will be played at the Hank Aaron Sports Academy 1200 Cool Papa Bell Drive, Jackson, MS 39216.

The HBCU World Series – presented by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy and events will take place on Friday, May 28th – 30th, 2021. This inter-conference event will be a best two-of-three game series and will allow black college baseball to write the first chapter in a much-needed matchup of NCAA Division I schools to crown a national champion.

“The City of Jackson is honored to be chosen by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy to host its inaugural HBCU World Series,” said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. “We see this as a tremendous opportunity to share all that our city has to offer with the teams, students, fans and more.”

The event was organized by BCSG 360, a global advocate of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) experience and supported by the Chicago public and private communities. Development and technical assistance of the tournament is provided by Black College Nines, an organization that supports the legacy of black college baseball.

BCSG 360, Black College Nines, and the City of Montgomery just concluded the inaugural Black College World Series crowning a national “NCAA-Div II and NIAA” champion in HBCU baseball. The event, held on April 28, 2021-May 1, 2021, featured six HBCU teams from NCAA Division II and NAIA baseball programs and concluded with Bluefield State College, based in West Virginia, winning the title.

The HBCU World Series – presented by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy will be livestreamed. Games will be available live on the Black College Sports Network at www.mybcsn.net/diamond and on Black College Nines at www.blackcollegenines.com. The games will also be available on the BCSN YouTube channel (myjbnonline) and via the MyJBN/My BCSN App, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Who: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champion vs. Southwestern Athletic Conference Champion

What: Inaugural HBCU World Series presented by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy – NCAA College Baseball Event

When: May 28-30, 2021 

Day 1 Friday May 28, 2021 (All Times Central)

Home Run Derby Game – 5 PM – Players TBA

*Admission: Adults $5.00 for Home Run Derby Children 18 & under admitted free 

Game 1 (Single Game) – 7 PM – Teams TBA 

Day 2 Saturday May 29, 2021 

Game 2 (Single Game) – 7 PM – Teams TBA 

Day 3 Sunday May 30, 2021 (If Necessary) 

Game 3 (Single Game) – 3PM – Teams TBA 

Where: Hank Aaron Sports Academy 

1200 Cool Papa Bell Drive Jackson, MS. 39216 

Tickets can be purchased (TBA) 

Event: HBCU World Series Press Conference (Virtual) 

Opening – Pitch Reception (TBA) 

The HBCU Experience (The Hank Aaron Sports Academy) 

The Culture Connect (Virtual) HBCU Baseball Symposium (Virtual) 

HBCU World Series (The Hank Aaron Sports Academy)

Both teams will participate in the three-game series along with educational and entertainment events and activities during the three days, estimated to welcome 5000+ students and fans to Jackson, MS.

The HBCU World Series – presented by the Hank Aaron Sports Academy is special to the HBCU community, the student-athletes, coaches, and the thousands of fans expected in attendance. This series will crown a much-needed national champion of black college baseball while showcasing its participation in the NCAA Division I, the official governing body of both MEAC and SWAC conferences.

The series will also showcase the rich heritage of historically black college and university students who played in the Negro Leagues and received a college education. More than 80 percent of Negro League players before 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, were college-educated at HBCUs.

Unlike the MLB, the Negro Leagues did not have a minor league system to develop players. The Negro Leagues attracted players from HBCU campuses, had spring training on HBCU campuses, and played exhibition games against HBCU teams. Some players, who got their start in the Negro Leagues and earned their way into the Hall of Fame, were HBCU alumnus.

A few of the names that played at HBCUs include, Danny Goodwin (Chicago White Sox and California Angels) who is the only baseball player to be drafted first overall in the Major League draft in two separate drafts, Atlanta Braves second baseman Ralph Garr (Grambling State), Texas Rangers pitcher Al Holland (North Carolina A&T), New York Mets center fielder Tommie Agee (Grambling State), St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Tom Alston (North Carolina A&T), Montreal Expos’ outfielder Andre Dawson (Florida A&M), St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Lou Brock (Southern University) and Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks, Jr. (Southern University). Major League Baseball continues to draft players from HBCU.

The significance of the HBCU World Series between the MEAC and the SWAC is its relationship to Black College Nines (BCN), an organization with a nationally recognized website dedicated to preserving the legacy of HBCU baseball through current and historical news reporting.

The HBCU World Series is organized by Erwin Prentiss Hill, Executive Director of BCSG 360, a 501(c)(3) organization that is a global advocate of the Historically Black College and University experience. Technical assistance and development of the tournament is provided by HBCU baseball guru Michael Coker, the lead writer at Black College Nines.

About the Hank Aaron Sports Academy at Smith Wills Stadium
The stadium was originally built to attract Professional Minor League baseball team. It opened in 1975 in Jackson, Mississippi. Over the years, it has hosted professional baseball as well as musical concerts. With the addition of FieldTurf artificial turf, Smith–Wills was converted into a true multipurpose facility for the Texas League AA affiliate of the Houston Astros. After the 1999 season, the Generals were sold to an investment group headed by Major League Baseball hall of famer Nolan Ryan, and were relocated to the newly built Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. The stadium was home to several independent professional teams. The Jackson DiamondKats played in the Texas – Louisiana League, which changed its name in 2005 to the Central Baseball League. The Jackson Senators called it home from 2002 to 2005, before the Mississippi Braves moved to nearby Pearl. Smith Wills Stadium has hosted the SWAC Championship Baseball tournament as well as Ole Miss, Mississippi State and University of Southern Mississippi baseball programs. The 5,200 seat baseball stadium is currently the home of both the Blazers of Belhaven University, an NCAA Division III team in the American Southwest Conference and Tougaloo College, an HBCU. A three-year deal was signed for the Smith Wills Stadium to host the Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament beginning in 2020. Two weeks after that agreement was signed, the NCAA canceled all spring championship events for the 2020 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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