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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

With M.L.B.’s Help, Baseball Returns at an H.B.C.U.

But when XULA, as it is also known, announced in 2019 that it was resurrecting a baseball program that had been dormant since 1960, Cousin said he was “really shocked.” And when the newly hired XULA head coach, Adrian Holloway, invited Cousin to an athletic event on campus, gave him a tour, explained his vision and made him a generous scholarship offer, Cousin was sold.

“It’s a good school for putting people in medical school that look like me, and that’s what I want to do, actually,” Cousin, a freshman pitcher and first baseman, said in a phone interview. “I want to become a sports medicine doctor, so Xavier was really a perfect fit.”

While the baseball industry in the United States continues wrestling with persistent problems like inaccessibility and homogeny, and several H.B.C.U.s have cut baseball programs over the years, XULA achieved a notable milestone on Tuesday: It played its first intercollegiate baseball games in six decades.

And with an assist from Major League Baseball, Tuesday’s doubleheader — which the Gold Rush split against Bryant & Stratton College — was played at home. Not only does XULA use M.L.B.’s Urban Youth Academy at Wesley Barrow Stadium for practices and games, but so does the softball team, a new sport for the school. No other university in the country can call an M.L.B. facility its home stadium — an arrangement officials hoped would continue their efforts to improve participation and diversity in baseball and softball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:46 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball, historically black universities

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   1. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: February 25, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6006712)
otoh, my closest hbcu (nc central, plays games at the old durham bulls park, the one seen in bull durham) is leaving the sport and, thus, its conference (the meac, one of two hb d1 conferences) won't have enough teams to get an automatic bid to the ncaa tourney anymore.

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