Comerica Bank SVP Irv Ashford Jr. throws first pitch during the Negro Leagues Weekend game in Detroit

Friday’s activities concluded with the Annual Passing of the Bat Pregame On-Field Ceremony.

On Saturday, July 31, a Former Negro Leagues Player Fan Q&A jumpstarted the festivities, followed by an HBCU and Black Greek Letter Organization Night. The baseball game, Detroit Tigers vs. The Baltimore Orioles was preceded by a Pregame On-Field Ceremony to honor former Negro Leagues Players.

Comerica’s own Irv Ashford Jr. perfectly threw out the first pitch of the game, starting a streak of good luck for the Tigers as they won the game 6-2.

Sunday’s event capped off the weekend with an on-field ceremony that was held in honor of the 60th anniversary of Jake Wood’s Major League Debut. When asked about what he would say to today’s youth about the game of baseball, Wood graciously responded, “The game of baseball is more than physical. There’s a mental aspect of the game. You have to believe that God created you as an individual to be special. You have to be who God created you to be, no matter if you play baseball, if you’re a lawyer, or a dentist, you’re a special person. Involve yourself in who God is in your life and you will succeed and have peace within yourself.”

To find out more information on the Negro Leagues and their annual celebration, visit

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