Minor League Baseball ballpark promotions don’t get too much cooler than the one hosted Friday night by the High-A Daytona Tortugas.
The Tortugas, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate, honored late TNT broadcaster Craig Sager with SagerStrong Night, in which they dressed in colorful Sager-esque uniforms and invited Vince Carter to throw out the first pitch, as Sager’s family looked on. Proceeds from ticket sales went toward the SagerStrong Foundation.
Shortly before the event, Carter appeared on on SportsCenter with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith and spoke passionately about Sager, who died of leukemia in December.
Here’s a look at the Tortugas’ specialty jerseys, to be auctioned off after Friday’s game. They are apparently modeled after Sager’s outfit from the 2015 ESPYS, which also inspired the official NBA Sager Strong shirts.
— Zach Dean (@ZachDeanDBNJ) July 21, 2017
Carter posed for photos with Sager’s family, then threw out an awfully impressive first pitch.
— #SagerStrong (@SagerStrong) July 21, 2017
— Daytona Tortugas (@daytonatortugas) July 21, 2017
The Tortugas tweeted that they would be donating $3,575 to the SagerStrong Foundation, which funds clinical trials and cancer research for leukemia and other blood diseases.
— Daytona Tortugas (@daytonatortugas) July 22, 2017
Though Sager was famous for his NBA sideline interviews, he also covered baseball, including Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run, and was an enthusiastic fan of the sport. Last October, only two months before he died, he enthusiastically cheered (and bet on) his hometown Chicago Cubs as they won their first World Series in 108 year.
Minor League Baseball teams host all kinds of gimmicky promotions, with garish uniforms, celebrity appearances and tenuous connections to baseball. Props to the Tortugas for taking all those things and channeling toward a good cause.