Andre Dawson lends name to MLB-sponsored tourney for HBCUs

Tears roll down the cheeks of former Montreal Expos Andre Dawson as the Washington Nationals honor his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame during a baseball game against the Florida Marlins Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

NEW ORLEANS — Baseball Hall of Famer and former Montreal Expo Andre Dawson is lending his name to a college tournament formed as part of Major League Baseball’s effort to promote historically black college and university programs.

Now in its 11th year, the New Orleans tournament formerly known as the Urban Invitational has been renamed the Andre Dawson Classic. It will feature six HBCU teams as part of an eight-team round robin from Feb. 16-18.

Dawson, a former Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos star, played college baseball at Florida A&M. He is one of only two HBCU alumni in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dawson says he’s honoured to be involved.

Games are played at the New Orleans MLB Youth Academy and at nearby University of New Orleans. The HBCU teams involved this year are: Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling State, Prairie View A&M and Southern. Also playing are New Orleans and Illinois-Chicago.

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