Reviving and celebrating Ontario history on the baseball field and in a video game! Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), in partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB), is immortalizing the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars – the first all-Black team to win an Ontario Baseball Association Championship – in a very unique way. OLG and MLB are bringing the team’s memory back to life through baseball’s most popular video game, MLB The Show 22.
Players can search the video game’s Logo Vault and Player Vault to find the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars as one of the playable teams in the game. The video game provides the tools to help re-create look alike members of the team, their home baseball field, uniforms and team artifacts from archival materials from Chatham Kent Black Historical Society.
“OLG is extremely proud to be part of this effort with our MLB partners, to shine a spotlight on historical figures in our province who broke barriers and contributed to the betterment of our communities,” said Duncan Hannay, OLG’s President and CEO. “The Chatham Coloured All-Stars showed the world what it means to persevere in the face of adversity.”
The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ legacy will also be showcased through a short film featuring the descendants of the legendary players. The film provides an overview of the team’s history and the players perseverance through racism and other challenges of that era. It also gives a behind the scenes look at the meticulous effort it took to recreate the team for the video game. The film can be found at olg.ca/ChathamPlaysOn
As part of the celebration to commemorate the team, Chatham-area residents got a front row seat at the Field of Honour Charity baseball game on September 24th, 2022, at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham. The second edition of this special event will be completely free and open to the public with two baseball games being played by the descendants of the former All-Star team. Legendary baseball player, Fergie Jenkins Jr., whose father played on the 1934 team, will also be part of the celebrations.
“The Field of Honour is such an important event that we hold in our hometown of Chatham. We honour the men who played throughout all the seasons with the Chatham Coloured All-Stars on that day and get their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. to come honour their ancestors on the baseball diamond,” said Dorothy Wallace, President of the Chatham Kent Black Historical Society. “At the root of it, we are hoping to further share the story of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars and get the recognition they deserve. We are beyond thankful to all our supporters and so grateful to OLG and MLB for the project they will be sharing at this year’s game.”
To learn more about OLG’s and MLB’S Chatham Coloured All-Stars campaign, visit olg.ca/ChathamPlaysOn