WVU Exhibit on Negro Leagues Baseball and Latin Culture Opens

The 'Negro Leagues Beisbol Exhibit' arrived at West Virginia University and I had the great honor of having my Minnie Minoso baseball glove artwork included and being there for the Opening Day festivities.

The exhibit depicts the lives of athletes of color during racial segregation in the United States, focusing on African American Baseball and Hispanic Culture 1860-1960. It began a two month-long stay at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center on Sunday, Sept. 18.

The Opening Day event was highlighted by the keynote presentation from Pedro Sierra, a former pitcher in the Negro Baseball Leagues and friend of his fellow Cuban countryman, Minnie Minoso.

Pedro Sierra took a few minutes to tell me stories about his coach with the Washington Senators, Ted Williams.

Pedro Sierra took a few minutes to tell me stories about his coach with the Washington Senators, Ted Williams.

Minnie Minoso is the featured player in the exhibit, which highlights Spanish-speaking players in the Negro Leagues.

Glove art near exhibit entrance

Glove art near exhibit entrance

Minnie Minoso corner

Minnie Minoso corner

With Dr. Robert Waterson, Director of WVU CDCE

With Dr. Robert Waterson, Director of WVU CDCE

Dr. Robert A. Waterson, Director of the West Virginia University Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education within the College of Education and Human Services, brought the exhibit to Morgantown.

A mission of the exhibit is to make available to teachers and their students across West Virginia teaching materials, videos and visits to the exhibit with an aim to keep alive these aspects of history that are challenging and not always convenient to discuss, but necessary for growth and improvement as a society.

Awarding art prize to WV 6th Grader.

Awarding art prize to WV 6th Grader.

As part of the educational component of the exhibition, a state-wide art and essay contest was held for elementary school students to express their thoughts about baseball and civil rights.

I was asked to take part in awarding the winners, including this talented 6th grader, who created a wonderful drawing of Jackie Robinson. I only wish I had a photo of it.

With John Wakelin, friend and contributor to the exhibition

With John Wakelin, friend and contributor to the exhibition

Along with my Minnie Minoso baseball glove art, the exhibit includes important artifacts from my friend and Negro Leagues collector, John Wakelin.

These items include players’ personal letters and photos, memorabilia from Latin American teams, rare cards and game programs which add an important human touch to the exhibit.

 

Note my friend John's shirt, complete with Negro Leagues team logos!

Note my friend John's shirt, complete with Negro Leagues team logos!

Players from WVU's Mountaineers baseball team joined in the festivities and were great fun to talk with and were curious about the artifacts.

And a baseball art road trip wouldn't be complete without seeing some baseball, here provided by the Mountaineers at their scenic stadium. The ballpark is also home to the West Virginia Black Bears, in the Pirates' minor league system.

The weekend was full of opportunities to meet friendly WVU students, staff and administrators and fellow baseball fans.

Big thanks to WVU's CDCE and Dr. Waterson for hosting my visit.

Researching Gloves and More at the Baseball Hall of Fame

A photo recap of Beautiful Cooperstown and a few of the Game's Treasures

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In Cooperstown for the first time, on a beautiful early-Fall weekend, I was able to get a firsthand look at gloves and mitts worn by many of the game's greats.

Satchell statue, Gehrig's glove, Ty Cobb's shoes, and looks like they've been painting baseball equipment since the 1850s!

Satchell statue, Gehrig's glove, Ty Cobb's shoes, and looks like they've been painting baseball equipment since the 1850s!

Searching books and online just doesn't compare to seeing items in person, especially when I'm looking to accurately depict uniforms and shoes, etc.

Ruth's glove, McGraw's Giants uniform, Lakeside Cooperstown, Bob Gibson's glove (which, interestingly, is a Carl Yastrzemski model glove!).

Ruth's glove, McGraw's Giants uniform, Lakeside Cooperstown, Bob Gibson's glove (which, interestingly, is a Carl Yastrzemski model glove!).

Also, being able to know what glove a player used helps me to more accurately know which type I should look for when it comes time to portray that player on a glove.

Pirates '79 hat, Willie Mays' glove he made 'The Catch' with, Brooks Robinson glove, and a blast from my past -- pinwheel from old Comiskey Park scoreboard.

Pirates '79 hat, Willie Mays' glove he made 'The Catch' with, Brooks Robinson glove, and a blast from my past -- pinwheel from old Comiskey Park scoreboard.

While at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, I also had the good fortune to also meet a group of new friends, Roberto Clemente enthusiasts from around the country gathering for an event featuring former Mets' pitcher and Rookie of the Year, Jon Matlack.

Shop selling gloves, Al Simmons' hat, Aparicio's '70 uniform, and the glove Yogi Berra used to catch Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series, which looks like it had a few trips to the seamstress during the season.

Shop selling gloves, Al Simmons' hat, Aparicio's '70 uniform, and the glove Yogi Berra used to catch Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series, which looks like it had a few trips to the seamstress during the season.

Will look forward to future trips to Cooperstown and researching the game!