Benedict College To Host Baseball Symposium & Classic

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: June 7, 2006

RICHMOND, Va. — The Metropolitan Junior Baseball League, Inc. (MJBL) will sponsor its third Annual Bobby Bonds Memorial Symposium for the Survival of HBCU Baseball Programs at 7:00 p.m. on July 27 at Swinton Hall on the campus of Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.

Former N.Y. Mets All Star Mookie Wilson, who has a nephew that plays baseball at Elizabeth City State University of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), will be among the panelists.

“There is a definite absence of African Americans in the game of baseball. Baseball just isn’t being promoted in our communities. Our youth have to be exposed to baseball and this is one way we can provide them exposure,” said Wilson, the uncle of Houston Astros outfielder Preston Wilson.

MJBL will also sponsor its 16th Annual Inner City Classic that weekend with over 500 youth coming to Benedict College to showcase their talents.

MJBL Chairman, commissioner of the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) and former Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) commissioner Ken Free said, “There has been so much discussion about getting African Americans back into the game. It is beyond my comprehension why this program appears to be under the radar.”

“HBCU baseball programs already have a large number of African American baseball players. However, they just need some financial assistance that would afford them the resources to refine their baseball player’s skills.”

Other invited panelists include: Joe Morgan, ESPN MLB analyst and Hall of Famer (providing a video taped message); Dr. William Lide, Commisioner of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); former Grambling baseball standout and Houston Astros scout J.D. Elliby; Jimmie Lee Solomon, Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations for MLBl; Chris Murray, sports columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune, and others to be announced later.

MJBL Executive Director William Forrester said, “Sometimes we have to solve our own problems. Too often we fail to realize the value of establishments indigenous to our culture, we abandon them and years later we look back and wonder what went wrong.”

“We are returning home to our educational institutions to bring baseball back to our community.”

NOTE: For more information, contact Bill Forrester at (804) 264-6172 or via e-mail at