What is the patch baseball players are wearing Sunday?
All Major League Baseball teams and players will wear a red and white patch featuring the blue silhouette of a baseball player on their jerseys on Sunday, August 16, 2020. This patch is being worn in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League, the first of the several well-structured, long-lasting leagues which are now commonly grouped together under the Negro Leagues designation.
The logo, based off the Negro League Baseball Museum’s own 100th anniversary logo (designed free of charge by Adam Rolf of the Kansas City-based firm Global Prairie), includes the silhouette of a player who is not meant to represent one specific individual, though, according to Bob Kendrick, president of the NLBM, it draws heavily on the likeness of Hall of Famer Raleigh “Biz” Mackey.
“We wanted this logo to convey strength, we wanted this logo to convey pride because those are the things that are the hallmark of the Negro Leagues,” Kendrick told SportsLogos.Net earlier this year. “I think the designer did a wonderful job of capturing what the Negro Leagues represented.”
The patch is just one of many ways the league will be celebrating the Negro League centennial today — the centennial logo will also appear on lineup cards and base jewels, and the Miami Marlins will go one step further by wearing throwback uniforms of the Miami Giants, a Negro League team of the 1930s. A new digital channel about the leagues, maintained by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, was also launched on MLB.com.
Through this commemoration of the centennial, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum hopes to bring the story of the Negro Leagues to the larger baseball community—not just the story of the integration of baseball but the critically important role the Negro Leagues played prior to the integration of the sport.
“It’s one of the most significant things to happen in the annals of American history, and a lot of people don’t know that,” Kendrick said. “It’s our job to help people understand why the Negro Leagues were so important and what this milestone anniversary really means in our country’s history.”
“The Negro Leagues made Major League Baseball better, and that is undeniable. Even though these players were kept out of the major leagues, once the door opened, the Negro Leagues really helped make Major League Baseball major. I don’t think Major League Baseball became major until after 1947 when you allowed all the great players to take the field, so it seems to me it would only be natural that there would be some sort of partnership [with Major League Baseball] in this effort.”
Earlier this year, the league and the Player’s Association made a joint donation of $1 million to the museum. You can also help support the preservation of this crucially important moment in the history of baseball through the museum by signing up for a membership or making a donation. Check out their website for information here.