G-League’s Birmingham Squadron Honor City’s Civil Rights History With Specialty Jerseys – SportsLogos.Net News

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the corner, the Birmingham Squadron of the NBA G-League are celebrating their home city’s role in the Civil Rights Movement and the integration of sport with special jerseys.

The Squadron — the G-League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans — unveiled the jerseys on their website on Wednesday, January 3. They’ll wear them for their two home games against Raptors 905 on Saturday, January 13, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day itself (Monday, January 15).

The jerseys are mostly black, with three white Bs arranged in a triangle on the chest. The Bs are a nod to the Birmingham Black Barons, a Negro League baseball team that played from 1920 to 1960. The trim around the collar and arms is red, with a broad red stripe and a narrow white stripe extending part of the way down each side panel.

Photos courtesy Birmingham Squadron

The history of Birmingham’s civil rights movement, as well as the nation’s, cannot be told without the Birmingham Black Barons. From 1920 (to) 1962, the Black Barons made the Magic City their home. Unbeknownst to most, the Birmingham Black Barons were not just about baseball. Team owner Abe Saperstein also owned the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, and many Black Barons also donned Globetrotters uniforms in the offseason to supplement their income.

Birmingham Squadron

The numbers on the front and back of the jersey are set in the Squadron’s usual number font — borrowed from their parent club in New Orleans — in white with a red outline. The NBA G-League logo runs across the back of the jersey, just below the collar.

Courtesy Birmingham Squadron

No photos of the shorts that will go with the jersey were included with Wednesday’s announcement, but the team did say the skyline of Birmingham will be incorporated into their design.

“We are honored to celebrate and recognize the Birmingham Black Barons with the donning of these specialty jerseys,” Squadron general manager Leslie Claybrook said on the team’s website. “The history of the Black Barons in the Magic City and nationally is quite remarkable and needs to continue to be told. These specialty jerseys play a small role in keeping the legacy top-of-mind.”

Game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off during both games, with proceeds going toward the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum “as it continues to tell the stories of the men who blazed trails to provide our sports landscape today.”

During their time, the Black Barons boasted future Baseball Hall of Famers like Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, Mule Suttles and Willie Wells. Singer Charley Pride also played for the Black Barons in 1953 before his music career took off.

The Black Barons were honored on two other occasions. First, in 1999, the double-A Birmingham Barons played the Huntsville Stars with both teams wearing throwback uniforms. Then, in February 2006, ESPN Classic broadcast a throwback game from Rickwood Field in Birmingham with the style of play, equipment and umpires’ uniform reflecting how baseball looked in the 1940s. Players in the game wore Black Barons uniforms along with those of a fictional team, the Bristol Barnstormers.

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