BEGINNING: Juneteenth around MLB and Father’s Day
Fans who purchase tickets to the St. Louis-Boston game at Fenway Park through a special offer were to receive a Red Sox jersey in Juneteenth colors with the Juneteenth flag.
At PNC Park, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, who is black, threw out the first pitch Saturday before the Pirates hosted the Giants.
June 19 commemorates the date when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the slaves of Galveston, Texas. The proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, and declared all slaves in the Confederate States free. Some of the newly released were unaware of their freedom until U.S. Major General Gordon Granger reached Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, to enforce the proclamation.
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone will have his family on his mind — and on his feet — on Father’s Day in Toronto.
Boone plans to wear a special pair of shoes for the series finale against the Blue Jays. Designed by Brooklyn artist Andy Freidman, the shoes feature images of Boone’s grandfather, father and brother, all of whom also played big league baseball.
“I was like ‘How about making this a family theme for me? with my family in baseball and incorporate my kids into it,” Boone said. “He took it from there and created this and it’s pretty cool.”
The design also incorporates images of Boone’s own children.
The White Sox and Astros are playing the rubber game of a three-game set — and it’s also a major game for managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker.
The longtime skippers are 105-105 against each other in regular season games since their first showdown in 1996. Chicago is also set to host Houston for four games in August, but with La Russa, 77, possibly on the hot seat for struggling Chicago, this could be his last game with the 73-year-old Baker.
The Yankees are on the verge of their second 10-game winning streak this season as they send Gerrit Cole to the mound against Toronto. New York has won nine straight and 16 of 17, closing in on its season high of 11 straight wins set from April 22 to May 3.
Cole (6-1, 3.33) pitched six innings in a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay in his previous start. He will face Blue Jays southpaw Yusei Kikuchi (2-3, 4.80).
Cleveland ace Shane Bieber, a native of Southern California, pitches at Dodger Stadium for the first time after a three-game series.
Bieber grew up an hour south of Chavez Ravine in Laguna Hills and attended Cal-Santa Barbara. He said he only attended a few Dodgers games growing up.
“I’ve heard a lot about the atmosphere. I know the story,” said 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Bieber. “I’m excited to experience it firsthand and add it to my resume.”
Bieber (3-3, 3.01 ERA) is part of a booming guarding team that has won five straight and 14 of its last 17 heading into Saturday.
He won’t have to face Mookie Betts – the Dodgers star is heading to the injured list with a cracked right rib. The 2018 AL MVP was injured in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Angels when he collided with Cody Bellinger in the outfield on a fly ball. Betts played the rest of that game but has since been held off.
Cleveland third baseman José Ramírez did not start Saturday’s game due to right thumb pain. He will have it checked again before the series finale. He leads the American League with 62 RBIs.
Seattle right-hander Logan Gilbert has a chance to join the major league leaders with eight wins over Mike Trout and the visiting Angels.
Gilbert (7-2) has won three straight decisions, including his last outing against Minnesota when he pitched six shutout innings.
In his last four starts, Gilbert has a 1.44 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 25 innings. In his 13 starts, he allowed more than three earned runs just once and pitched at least five innings in each start.
The 25-year-old is in his second full season and was the AL Pitcher of the Month for April.
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