MLB creates history with first all-Black umpire crew at Rickwood Field in Cardinals vs. Giants game 

Umpire Alan Porter makes the review call of a challenge by the Atlanta Braves against the Boston Red Sox at Truist Park
Umpire Alan Porter makes the review call of a challenge by the Atlanta Braves against the Boston Red Sox at Truist Park

Major League Baseball created history on Thursday when the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants at Rickwood Field featured an all-Black umpire crew for the first time.

In a week meant to honor former Negro League players, the league ensured that the entire umpiring crew on the field (and the replay official) in Birmingham, Alabama were all Black. Each of them also sported a "patch of honor" for Emmett Ashford, who became the league's first full-time Black umpire in 1966.

Vice President of Umpire Operations Matt McKendry made an exception to its regular scheduling to ensure that it was possible to field an all-Black crew at Rickwood Field. This saw Alan Porter as the home plate umpire, with Adrian Johnson, Malachi Moore and CB Bucknor taking first, second and third base, respectively. Jereme Rehak rounded up the crew as the replay official for the evening.

2024 has seen the MLB take a stance on publicly accepting and celebrating the rich history of the league, especially the Negro Leagues from the segregation era. This led to a celebration of the past at Rickwood Field this week, the oldest ballpark in the country. Hence, Thursday's game also saw the oldest living Negro League legend, Bill Greason, throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

Cardinals record narrow 6-5 victory over Giants at Rickwood Field

As the MLB celebrated the Negro Leagues at Rickwood Field with a historic all-Black umpiring crew, the action on the field lived up to the spirit of the event. The St. Louis Cardinals recorded a narrow 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants in a tightly contested game.

The Cardinals managed to take a 3-0 lead early in the game thanks to a Nolan Gorman sacrifice fly and a two-run homer from Brendan Donovan in the first inning of the game. Heliot Ramos then blasted a three-run homer to bring the Giants level in the third inning.

However, it was not enough as the Cardinals went on to take a three-run lead once again, which the Giants failed to level despite scoring twice in the sixth inning.

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Edited by Veer Badani
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