The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are honouring the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars through the video game MLB The Show 22.
The game was released in April but, after agreeing a multi-year partnership in June, OLG and MLB have now formalised a new feature that will bring back to life the first all-black team to win an Ontario Baseball Association Championship.
Players can search the video game’s Logo Vault and Player Vault to find the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars as one of the playable teams in the game.
As part of this addition look-a-like recreations have been made of the team’s players, home baseball field, uniform and artefacts from archival materials from Chatham Kent Black Historical Society.
“OLG is extremely proud to be part of this effort with our MLB partners, to shine a spotlight on historical figures in our province who broke barriers and contributed to the betterment of our communities,” said Duncan Hannay, OLG’s President and CEO.
“The Chatham Coloured All-Stars showed the world what it means to persevere in the face of adversity.
“It is an honour to help keep the team’s memory alive by introducing their story to as many people as possible including a new generation of baseball fans. It’s part of OLG’s commitment to giving back to Ontario.”
OLG is also showcasing the Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ legacy through a short film featuring the descendants of the legendary players, providing an overview of the team’s history and the players’ perseverance through racism and other challenges of that era.
Chatham-area residents will also get a front row seat at the Field of Honour Charity baseball game on September 24 at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham.
“The Field of Honour is such an important event that we hold in our hometown of Chatham,” added Dorothy Wallace, President of the Chatham Kent Black Historical Society.
“We honour the men who played throughout all the seasons with the Chatham Coloured All-Stars on that day and get their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. to come honour their ancestors on the baseball diamond.
“At the root of it, we are hoping to further share the story of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars and get the recognition they deserve.
“We are beyond thankful to all our supporters and so grateful to OLG and MLB for the project they will be sharing at this year’s game.”
Additionally, OLG has presented Chatham Kent Black Historical Society with a special cheque of $25,000.