Today, a volunteer project is taking place to create a pathway to and refurbish the former Atlanta Black Crackers practice field, ‘the sandlot,’ on Bush Mountain, commemorating and supporting one of the oldest Black communities in the City of Atlanta dating back to the Civil War. Taking place at 1401 Bridges Avenue, in Atlanta, the Braves, Delta Air Lines, and community volunteers will refurbish the field, plant and beautify the Bush Mountain Community Garden, and more. A piece of Atlanta baseball history will be also added with the planting of a seedling from a 100 year-old Magnolia tree that grew in the outfield of the former ballpark of the Minor League’s Atlanta Crackers and Negro American League’s Atlanta Black Crackers.
Tomorrow, there will be a ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the newly renovated baseball/softball field at the James T. Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Marietta. The Braves MLB Legacy Field was made possible by the Atlanta Braves, with support from Major League Baseball’s Legacy Fund, and will enable the development of Braves RBI baseball and softball programming in Cobb County. In addition to the field refurbishment, the Braves, in partnership with Diamond Crystal Brands, will donate baseball and softball equipment. The ribbon-cutting will be followed by a baseball clinic hosted by Braves alumni.
Friday morning, there will be an unveiling and dedication of the renovated and renamed Hank Aaron (#7) & Bill Lucas (#4) Fields at Gresham Park Baseball Complex, hosted by the Atlanta Braves and MLB. Gresham Park, a 7-field park in South Dekalb, has a vibrant local association and has been operating since 1974, producing eight MLB & MiL players (including current Braves minor leaguers Jalen Miller, Mike Harris, and Trey Harris), NBA and NFL players. It is considered a hub for the growth and development of Black baseball and softball players across south Atlanta.
There will be a special surprise during the ceremony, followed by a baseball clinic for the local Gresham Park team, led by Braves RBI on Hank Aaron Field. Guests will then visit the Bill Lucas Field, where Rubye Lucas will give remarks and throw out the first pitch before a scrimmage by the World Series-bound Braves RBI girls softball team.
Also, the best 44 players selected from Week Two of the Hank Aaron Invitational, held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla. July 25-29, will participate in an important cultural activity in Atlanta on Friday prior to playing a showcase game at Truist Park on Saturday morning. These elite athletes will participate in a private tour of the new Moments of Courage exhibit at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Civil rights leader Andrew Young will provide remarks about his long-time friend Hank Aaron.
The Moments of Courage exhibit at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, presented by Coca-Cola and the Atlanta Braves, explores stories of influential Black baseball players, including Hank Aaron, Marquis Grissom, and more, and how their careers impacted – and were impacted by – Atlanta’s civil rights movement. The exhibit will be open July 24 through August 1 in conjunction with Hank Aaron Weekend, Presented by Delta Air Lines.
The Hank Aaron Invitational is a special diversity-focused development experience for kids around the country, held over a two-week period at the Jackie Robinson Complex for high-school-age players (13-18). The Hank Aaron Invitational is operated by MLB and the MLB Players Association and supported by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and USA Baseball.