Bethesda Big Train Celebrating History of Black Baseball with Juneteenth Events

Bethesda Big Train, the local summer collegiate baseball team of Bethesda, is encouraging community members to celebrate Juneteenth by learning more about the history of Black baseball.

The celebration event on Monday, June 19, aims to educate people on the vast history of Black communities formed in Montgomery County during the 19th century and how baseball became the center of civic life during that time.

Bethesda Big Train has various events scheduled throughout the national holiday that people of all ages can participate in.

Juneteenth Celebration Schedule from Bethesda Big Train:

At 11:30 a.m., the American Film Institute will be showing “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” at the Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. After the movie, 13-year MLB star and Emory Grove native Milt Thompson will join historian Billy Gordon and Big Train founder Bruce Adams to reflect on the movie and share stories about Montgomery’s Black Sandlots. Tickets for this event can be found here.

At 3 p.m., The Scotland Juneteenth Festival presents a panel discussion with Thompson, Gordon, and Adams discussing the history of “Montgomery’s Black Sandlots” at the Cabin John Village Shopping Center in Potomac near Povich Field. The session will be held in Suite A (between Giant Food and CVS) on 7937 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac, and is free admission.

At 4 p.m., as part of the Juneteenth Festival, Big Train Baseball is organizing a youth baseball clinic at Field #2 (the youth field right next to Povich Field) with the goal of getting more youth of color interested in the game. Milt Thompson and former Big Train player Logan Farrar will lead the clinic. This event is free admission, but participants are asked to email to register to participate.

At 6 p.m., gates will open at Shirley Povich Field for the Second Annual Clarence “Pint” Isreal Juneteenth Classic. Big Train players will be wearing Eagles jerseys to honor the 1954 Scotland Eagles from Montgomery’s Black Sandlots. The Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro League Baseball will have memorabilia on display. The first 350 fans will receive t-shirt replicas of the Eagles jersey. Pre-game ceremony at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Ripken League game between the Big Train and the Gaithersburg Giants. Tickets for this event can be found here.

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