HBCU Baseball Showcase Quickly Becoming Premier Event

H. Michael Harvey, JD
6 min readNov 5, 2018
More than 100 Black high school baseball players assembled to listen to Taj Bradley a top 2018 draft pick explain some of the little things he learned in rookie baseball camp this summer. Photo credit: © 2018 Harold Michael Harvey

Under patches of gray in an otherwise blue sky, on a baseball diamond in urgent need to recover from a rain storm which swept through north Georgia the day before, assembled more than 100 Black high school baseball players. Some of them traveled a few blocks to the baseball field at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Many of them traveled several hundred miles.

One family took a red-eye out of Riverside, California 2,164 miles away so their son could display his talents to HBCU coaches. Another family drove 8 hours and one minute from St. Louis, Missouri to give their son an opportunity to woo HBCU baseball coaches.

“This is a wonderful event,” said Marvin Freeman, who played college baseball at Jackson State University and went on to become a premier relief pitcher in major league baseball.

Freeman frequently gives back to the game of baseball and his community by attending events associated with advancing and developing Black baseball players.

Former major leaguer Marvin Freeman (L) and San Diego Padres crosschecker Chip Lawrence (R)take time out from mentoring aspiring Black high school baseball players at the Pro Showcase to pose for a photograph. Photo credit: ©2018 Harold Michael Harvey

“I don’t get anything out of coming out here helping these kids. I do it because there is so much, they have to learn in order to make the jump to the big leagues,” Freeman pointed out.

Duane Sanders from Southern California said he came because he wants to see his son Daniel play baseball for an HBCU, so he can become “more involved in what is going on in the Black community.”

Daniel Sanders (L) and Duane Sanders (R) have been flying around the country in search of an HBCU baseball program that is a match for Daniel’s skill set. Photo Credits:©2018 Harold Michael Harvey

Sanders’ father played football at Miles College in the late 1930s and early 40s. He was inducted into the Miles College Hall of Fame in 1991. Last week Sanders took his son to visit Miles College in Birmingham and to visit Alabama State University in Montgomery. While at Miles, Daniel’s admission application was accepted. However, the Sanders were not able to work out before the baseball coaching staff, as the team was away from campus playing a fall game.

H. Michael Harvey, JD

Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com