Birmingham Barons unveil MLK-inspired jerseys

Written By:  •  Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a centerpiece of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. King wrote the letter on scraps of newspaper and delivered it piecemeal to Civil Rights leaders through his lawyers while imprisoned in 1963.

More than half a century after its writing, King’s letter, which was republished as “The Negro is Your Brother,” will be featured on the uniform of a minor league baseball team. The Double-A Birmingham Barons marked the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day today to unveil specialty jerseys featuring Dr. King’s handwritten notes, which proclaimed, among much else, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The city of Birmingham, Alabama, is central to the story of the Civil Rights Movement, and the Barons, who have been around in various forms since the late 1800s, have close ties to African-American history from a baseball perspective. The team shared a field with the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons, who saw the likes of Satchel Paige and Willie Mays in uniform, from 1920 to 1960. Today, the Barons feature a uniform set that pays homage to that team. In addition, the Negro Southern League Museum is located adjacent to the Barons home, Regions Field.

Information on specific dates when the uniforms will be worn is still to come.

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Paul Caputo

Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names. He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.