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Atlanta Braves To Host 2011 Civil Rights Game; Anthony Varvaro Claimed Off Waivers

Reported by MLB.com, the Braves will host the Civil Rights Game on May 15. It is a Sunday afternoon game against the Phillies, but that is not all during the week in Atlanta.

The four-day event will begin with the Selig Business Conference at the Georgia Aquarium on May 12. During the conference, there will be a job fair and panel discussions. The conference will continue the next day with a women's leadership forum, where wives of baseball icons share their experiences and highlight women's roles in baseball.

Friday night, Hank Aaron will be celebrated in a ceremony and screening of a documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream," at the Fox Theatre. The next day, the Baseball and the Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. It will stream live at MLB.com.

Saturday will feature clinics, interactive stations and panels for children, held at Centennial Olympic Park. It will feature former players, performers and local celebrities for the kids to meet, and it will conclude with a parade to Turner Field. That night, the MLB Beacon Awards will be handed to three people at the Omni Hotel Grand Ballroom.

The Braves and Phillies will wear throwback Negro League jerseys for the game Sunday. For full coverage, go to Civil Rights Game 2011 at MLB.com.

In other news, the Braves claimed pitcher Anthony Varvaro off waivers from the Mariners, according to Mark Bowman.

Varvaro was selected in the 12th round in 2005 by the Mariners. He was drafted as a starter, but he made the transition to the bullpen in 2009, putting up a 2.82 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 54.1 innings for AA. He returned to AA to begin 2010 and put up similar numbers, and he eventually found himself at AAA, where he had a 5.26 ERA in 25.2 innings.

Varvaro has had Tommy John surgery and probably did not regain his control. He is a strikeout machine at 9.5 K/9 over his minor league career, including a 10.5 mark in 93.2 AA innings. However, his career BB/9 in the minors is 5.5, including two full seasons of over 7. This, along with his stuff, probably forced him to the bullpen. At 26 years old, he's a good no-risk move who could make an impact in the Braves pen if he finds his control. Nothing wrong with depth.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.