Paint splatter accent Nationals Academy Celebrates Black History Month

February 15, 2024



In February and throughout the year, Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Scholar Athletes learn about the history, culture, and achievements of historic Black leaders in baseball and beyond. In the spirit of Academy Core Value “Continue to Learn” – Black History Month brings an opportunity to reflect on advancements toward racial equality, as well as the contributions made by generations of Black and African American athletes on and off the field.

Scholar Athletes in the Academy’s BASE after school program kicked off the month with an honorary classroom door decoration where each grade had the opportunity to express their creativity and individuality in sharing what “Black History” means to them. Program participants also wrote original poems about an African American historic figure of their choice, pairing each poem with a silhouette of who the piece represents. On February 15, athletes presented their poems to their peers and coaches, with one poem from each grade receiving a special certificate.

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(L-R: A Third grader Collins works on his poem, honorary classroom door decoration, Marquis, Aryn, and Akari show off their Black History Month poetry contest certificates)



On February 2, Sean Doolittle and Nationals staff members, including coaches Harry and Devin from Nationals Academy, joined leaders from Joint Base Andrews and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of Ernest Judson “Jud” Wilson, a World War I veteran who went on to play for the Homestead Grays. The group learned about the history of baseball’s evolution and the significant contributions of Black American players like Wilson, who was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the Negro Baseball League. In 2006, Jud Wilson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and later the Nationals Park Ring of Honor.

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(L-R: Sean Doolittle and Nationals staff gather at Arlington National Cemetery, Coach Harry Thomas III tours the Memorial Amphitheater Display Room, Coaches Harry and Devin beside Ernest Judson “Jud” Wilson’s grave)