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Photos: First game of All-Star Week features HBCU student athletes

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week started Friday in Seattle. But before the major leaguers show up, the first game featured student athletes from historically Black colleges and universities for the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic.

Seattle Mariners legend and baseball hall of famer, Ken Griffey, Jr., teamed up with the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation for the first ever HBCU Swingman Classic.

Fifty athletes from historically Black schools played Friday night before Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

It was a chance for the students to play on a major league field in front of thousands of fans and scouts.

“These guys get an opportunity to play at the highest level, get drafted, go out there and further their career in the game of baseball,” Griffey told MLB in June.

Griffey said this game is an opportunity for him to give back to younger players the same way his father, another former Mariner and World Series champ, helped Junior when he was coming up in baseball.

“Not everybody can go to a Power Five conference,” Griffey said. “Not everybody can afford to pay the 30, 40, $50,000 a year to play baseball.”

Griffey said he’d be in the dugouts to chat with the players and offer advice.

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