Friday, September 23, 2022

Trailblazing, all-black Ontario baseball team gets the video game treatment CBC Radio

as it happens6:36Trailblazing, all-black Ontario baseball team gets the video game treatment

It’s all too real for Ferguson (Fergie) Jenkins Jr. to faithfully recreate his father in Major League Baseball’s video game MLB The Show ’22.

From his fiery facial features to his swift moves, the 1934 Chatham Colored All-Stars champions, including Fergie Jenkins Sr., have been brought back and ready to play ball.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) partnered with the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Major League Baseball (MLB) to recreate the team in the game.

The All-Stars were the first All-Black team to win a championship title in the province, breaking the color barriers in the game.

“People disregarded him at one time as good athletes, but then he proved himself,” Jenkins Jr., 79, told as it happens Host Neil Koksal. “They really did count as a team.”

Ferguson Holmes Jenkins, also known as Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Jenkins Sr., was an outfielder for the Chatham Colored All-Stars. (olg)

Jenkins Jr. was a famous professional baseball player in his own right. He was the first Canadian to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1991, and recorded the most victories of any black pitcher in MLB history.

But he says the legacy of the bogus Jenkins Sr. and Chatham Colored All-Stars is now being honored after nearly 90 years of being ridiculed and attacked on the field.

“They did barnstorms, they were boycotted by various groups of people, they were supposedly thrown off rocks and spit on and they didn’t want them to play. They are called curfew periods, of that nature. things. They wanted to oppose the Games because all the players were players of color,” Jenkins Jr. recalled. “They were able to live through this situation and were strong enough to understand that they were going to stick together to win – as an organization – as a team.”

“I think it was proven that they would win. So I’m very proud of that.”

Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Jenkins Jr. played Major League Baseball from 1965 to 1983 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. (Rex Arbogast/The Associated Press)

Everything needed to play as an All-Star – including its star players and the original team logo – was built using mlb the showIn-game construction tools.

But it’s not as simple as selecting Toronto Blue Jays or any other active MLB team in the default menu.

one page OLG’s website includes instructions How players can download logos and player profiles to make their own team.

performance The games are co-published by MLB and Sony Interactive Entertainment, and developed by Sony’s San Diego Studio. Neither Sony nor San Diego Studio is cited in Joint OLG-MLB Press Release, as it happens has reached out to both companies for comment.

While Jenkins Jr. has yet to enter the game with his latest characters, he is looking forward to picking up other players to go against the All-Stars.

“You have a chance to pick different players and then make a team out of them,” he said. “But a lot of times, if you don’t come out with the right players, you won’t be able to beat them, because they had athletes who could play in multiple positions as catchers, infielders and outfielders.”

Jenkins Sr. was a star team member who played only one position at center field. He died in 1996.

“My dad would be amazed because [of] The fact is that all the technology these days, these games, look so real,” laughed Jenkins Jr. “I can’t imagine my father could even think of the things that happen with electronics these days.”

hometown hero

In their press release, OLG described the championship team as a tribute A way to give back to Ontario,

“OLG is extremely proud to be part of this effort, along with our MLB partners, to shine the spotlight on historical figures in our province who have broken down barriers and contributed to the betterment of our communities,” said its president and CRO, Duncan Haney said.

The provincial corporation also gave $25,000 to the Chatham Kent Black Historical Society to help create the characters.

The society’s curator, Samantha Meredith, “there’s a whole new generation of kids who are gamers and they may not have been exposed to history in other ways, but now they are getting exposed to it in a whole new area of ​​gaming.” told the Chatham Daily News,

Chatham City, Ont. Plan to pay tribute to the historic baseball team of the U.S. On Saturday at the bogus Jenkins Field, relatives and descendants of the All-Stars will play in the second Field of Honor Charity Baseball Game,

“Everyone salutes the hometown heroes they were,” Jenkins Jr. said.

“They were athletes and father and son who played in Chatham and were able to display their talents on the baseball field.”

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians—from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community—check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here,


Interview produced by Devin Nguyen.

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