White Sox, Mets to honor movement Annual Civil Rights Game pays tribute to Martin Luther King NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Continuing Major League Baseball's newest preseason tradition, the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets will meet in the second annual Civil Rights Game on March 29, 2008, at Memphis' AutoZone Park. Details of the game were announced at a Monday evening media conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, site of the annual Winter Meetings. With its inaugural game last March, the Civil Rights Game instantly became a significant MLB milestone, a symbolic eternal torch commemorating the struggle for racial harmony near where the most painful obstacle had been thrown in its path. AutoZone Park, the 7-year-old home of the Memphis Redbirds, St. Louis' Triple-A affiliate, sits six city blocks from the National Civil Rights Museum, site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. As was the case last March, the nationally televised (ESPN) Saturday exhibition between the White Sox and the Mets will culminate a two-day celebration commemorating baseball's role in a significant movement only begun in 1947, when Jackie Robinson crossed baseball's own color line. Monday night's announcement came only four days after the McLendon Foundation of the nation's scholastic athletic directors had honored the baseball Commissioner's ongoing efforts on behalf of minorities with the creation of the annual Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award. Prior to lasy year's inaugural event between the Cardinals and the Indians, Selig had noted that the Civil Rights Game "will be played every year in Memphis in honor of Dr. King." "In our modest way," Selig added, "Major League Baseball has a chance to preserve the memory of Dr. King and all the people who sacrificed their lives to the civil rights movement." The occasion will again be highlighted by the presentation of the second annual Beacon Awards, an honors program also initiated last year by MLB as a means of recognizing those who have blazed significant trails. St. Louis' 5-1 victory over Cleveland in the first Civil Rights Game had followed two days of thought-provoking events. At a pregame luncheon, inaugural Beacon Awards were presented to filmmaker Spike Lee, Vera Clemente, the widow of Pirates great Roberto Clemente, and posthumously to Negro League star Buck O'Neil. Also a part of the Civil Rights Game weekend was a panel discussion, moderated by Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, entitled, "Baseball and the Civil Rights Movement."