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Inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic was a thrilling showcase

Players from more than a dozen HBCUs got a chance to shine at the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic in Seattle, WA.

2023 Baseball

By Steven J. Gaither

The inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic is in the books after giving some of the best and brightest in HBCU baseball a night to shine in Seattle.

Randy Flores (Alabama State) hit a double with one out in the eighth inning, stole second and finished with the go-ahead run with on a dive home after a wild pitch, as the American League team went on to a 4-3 victory late Friday in the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic.

North Carolina A&T pitcher Xavier Meachem threw two scoreless innings for the American League Squad while Daalen Adderley of Texas Southern drove in two early runs to give that squad a 3-0 cushion.

HBCU Swingman Classic, Ty Jackson
Florida A&M’s Ty Jackson scored the first run of the inagural HBCU Swingman Classic.

The HBCU Swingman Classic was the kicker for the MLB All-Star Game. It is the brain child of Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., who spent the majority of his career with the Mariners in Seattle. 

“It’s all about trying to get seen,” Griffey told the Seattle Times on Friday. “I mean, if I can give an opportunity for a kid, one kid, two kids, three kids to be seen, how many kids can that be over the next five, 10, 15 years?” Griffey said. “How many lives will that one person change? That’s all we’re trying to do.”

Griffey’s son, Tevin, plays football at Florida A&M University. His father, Ken Griffey Sr. was a coach. The opening pitch was thrown by another Baseball Hall of Famer in Andre Dawson and caught by former St. Louis Cardinal and Mariner Vince Coleman. Both players matriculated at Florida A&M. 

The two teams were composed of players from 17 historically black colleges and universities.

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