The Triple-A Rochester Red Wings will commemorate Deaf Culture Day with specialty jerseys and caps. The uniform set replaces the word Red Wings across the chest of the jersey and the R featured on the cap with illustrations of hands forming letters in American Sign Language.
“Throughout history, baseball and the deaf community have been intertwined,” said National Technical Institute for the Deaf President Gerry Buckley, quoted on MiLB.com. “And Rochester, which is known as ‘Sign City,’ is home to a historic deaf community. Furthermore, deaf and hard-of-hearing fans have been among the most loyal Red Wings followers.”
There’s a precedent for this promotion in Minor League Baseball: The High-A Cubs affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans held a very well-received Curtis Pride Night last year, during which the team wore uniforms that featured American Sign Language.
The Red Wings’ Deaf Culture Day will take place April 28, with a 1:05 game against the Pawtucket Red Sox. In addition to the specialty uniforms, the promotional day will feature a silent inning with no announcements or music, sign language interpreters throughout the ballpark, and recognition of deaf individuals who have made a significant impact over the years. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the Rochester School for the Deaf and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.