JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As part of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s salute to Black History Month, the club will be hosting the second annual High School Heritage Classic exhibition game between Raines and Ribault high schools at 121 Financial Ballpark.
The first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12.
The Raines and Ribault players will wear custom Jacksonville Red Caps uniforms in a tribute to the Negro Leagues team from 1938 to 1942. Throughout the exhibition game, there will be historical references to Negro Leagues players and teams.
“Personally, this is a dream come true,” said Andrea Williams, the Jumbo Shrimp’s director of community relations. “To be able to provide this opportunity for young children who might not have that opportunity in another capacity, just means the world. It’s not only allowing them to play on the field but to really do the education piece behind it.”
She said there will be a special tribute to Hank Aaron, the legendary Black Major League Baseball player who moved up the ranks playing for the Jacksonville Braves. Aaron died Friday at age 86.
“That one hurt,” Williams said. “Hank Aaron had done so much for the game, but he made it possible for people who look like me to hold front office positions, as well.”
Here’s a look at what the two teams will be playing for: the A. Philip Randolph Cup - named for Jacksonville cultural icon, historic figure, and former professional baseball player. Mr. Randolph’s legacy is one we are proud to share! https://t.co/Zvvo075K5d pic.twitter.com/Z4byWg6wnu— Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (@JaxShrimp) January 25, 2021
Rivals Raines and Ribault, both historically Black schools, will be playing for the A. Philip Randolph Cup, commemorating the civil rights activist who moved to Jacksonville in 1891.
“I am proud and excited to bring back this special game that celebrates the rich history of the Negro Leagues in Jacksonville and honors the many Negro Leagues players who laid the foundation for our entire industry,” said Harold Craw, the Jumbo Shrimp’s executive vice president and general manager. “I want to thank Duval County Public Schools and the students and faculty of both Raines and Ribault High Schools for kicking off the Jumbo Shrimp’s annual commitment to commemorate the Negro Leagues. We encourage all fans to learn about the extraordinary Negro Leagues players who complete the history of the sport we all love.”
The Jumbo Shrimp are selling about 2,300 tickets for the game, Due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans will socially distance and have to wear face masks. Tickets, which start at $5, can be purchased here on the Jumbo Shrimp’s website. For group tickets, call the Jumbo Shrimp at 904-358-2846.
The Raines Vikings defeated the Ribault Trojans 8-4 in the inaugural High School Heritage Classic in February 2020.