DENVER (CBS4) – The Five Points Business Improvement District is celebrating Black baseball players who once swung a bat at what is now known as Sonny Lawson Park. It was part of the festivities surrounding the MLB All-Star Game.
“The Negro League is a part of our Black history,” said LaSheita Sayer, a board member of the Five Points Business Improvement District. “Sonny Lawson was a destination where the Negro League played as a part of their network. So, what we’re trying to do is acknowledge the significance that still exists here in Five Points.”READ MORE: MLB Announces Largest Commitment With $100 Million To Encourage Black Participation
Cutouts of Negro League players were on display at Sonny Lawson Park. Jazz music along Welton Street provided a soundtrack for spectators.
“We set out to find a way to attract some of the baseball players coming in, the attendees coming in for the baseball game, to have another alternative for something to do, to come and explore other parts of Denver.”
James and Lisa Carberry made the trip to Five Points from Highlands Ranch for the activities.READ MORE: 'Wow, You Look Like Me!': MLB Players Share Love Of Baseball With Denver's Young Black Community
“With sports tying in, with music and culture tying in, food tying in, those are things that we’re privileged to be a part of, and we just want to celebrate that,” James said.
Earlier in the day, the Players Alliance, an organization of past and present Black professional baseball players, hosted a clinic for kids.
“We want to make sure we come to their communities, let them see who we are, and say, ‘Wow, you look like me, I can possibly do that,’” said Curtis Granderson, a retired MLB player and President of the Players Alliance.
Even though eyes are on the All-Star events, Five Points is taking fans back to the days of baseball’s past.
“We need to celebrate, honor it, recognize it, give people a reason to hold their head up a little higher, be proud of who you are, and reach for the stars,” said Sayer.