CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Guardians will not only celebrate the return of baseball at Progressive Field at the Home Opener on April 15, but also the 75th anniversary of Larry Doby becoming the first Black player in the American League by having his son, Larry Doby Jr., catch the ceremonial first pitch from two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks.
Doby broke the color barrier in the AL on July 5, 1947, just months after Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Doby spent nine seasons with Cleveland and helped lead the Indians to a World Series title in 1948.
The Home Opener against the San Francisco Giants marks the Guardians 29th Home Opener at Progressive Field. It also falls on Jackie Robinson Day, celebrated around Major League Baseball on April 15.
The National Anthem and God Bless America will be performed by Cleveland native Brianne Bryant, also known as Lady Bri, who performs as a member of the and Welsh Arms. Bryant also recently sang vocals for the team’s new soundtrack “We Are Cleveland.”
All six military branches —Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Space Force— will create a joint color presentation. A flyover will be performed by the 112th fighter squadron of the 180th fighter wing with four F-16s.
Outside the stadium at Gateway Plaza, there will be a Guardians Block Party, which will start when the gates open at 5:30 p.m. The block party is open to the public and will feature DJ Kyro, the City Breaks dancing group, the Cleveland Strikers, Slider and the Dogs and more.
At the time of the news release Wednesday afternoon, there are 2,500 Home Opener tickets left. Tickets can be bought here.
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