Rube Foster in 1924. Foster was instrumental in the founding of the Negro National League in 1920
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, so keep an eye out for events commemorating various teams. Several museums – including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Yogi Berra Museum – have announced plans for special exhibits. In addition to honoring the Negro Leagues, many museums across the country have announced baseball exhibits for 2020:
- Baseball in Fayetteville, Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, Fayetteville, NC; March 22, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2020
- The Hollywood Shorties, “the first professional sports team ever created entirely of little people,” The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Northridge, CA; currently on display
- Baseball: America’s Home Run, National Postal Museum, Washington, DC; June 27, 2020 – January 8, 2023
- Selections from the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick (baseball card exhibit), The Met Fifth Avenue, New York, NY; Jan. 14 – July 12, 2020
- Take Me Out To The Ball Game: Popular Music and the National Pastime, curated by the GRAMMY Museum, Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa, OK; Jan. 18 – May 10, 2020
- Beisbol, traveling exhibit of the Negro League Baseball Museum, Museum of North Texas History, Wichita Falls, TX; Jan. 23 – March 13, 2020
- Negro National League Centennial Exhibit, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO; Feb. 1 – May 31, 2020
- Fredericksburg Baseball, Fredericksburg Area Museum, Fredericksburg, VA; opening March 1, 2020
- Negro Baseball/Beisbol Exhibit, traveling exhibit of the Negro League Baseball Museum, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum, Springfield, IL; April 11 – June 23, 2020
- Baseball in Taneytown, Taneytown History Museum, Taneytown, MD; opens April 19, 2020
- Portraying America’s Pastime: Baseball Glove Art by Sean Kane, Butler Arts Center, Clowes Memorial Hall, Indianapolis, IN; April 30 – June 11, 2020
- David Levinthal: Baseball, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; May 16 – Nov. 15, 2020
- Negro National League Centennial Exhibit, Bobblehead Hall of Fame & Museum, Milwaukee, WI; July 1 – Dec. 31, 2020
- Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of the Negro Leagues, Yogi Berra Museum, Little Falls, NJ; Sept. 18, 2019 – June 20, 2020
- ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues/En los barrios y las grandes ligas, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, DC; opens Oct. 9, 2020
Other museums/exhibits of note:
- Jackie Robinson Museum, opening in 2020
- The Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, will be on display in various locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington in 2020
- Autumn Glory, currently at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, has artifacts from the Washington Nationals’ championship season and World Series win
Let me know if you check out any of these events!
While we’re all still in the Thanksgiving mood:
On this date in 2011, the movie Moneyball debuted in U.S. theaters. The movie, about the statistics-based approach to putting together a team, earned $19.5 million in its opening weekend, finishing second after the 3D release of The Lion King. Overall, Moneyball earned $75.6 million in the United States and Canada and an additional $34.6 million in the rest of the world.
The movie was nominated for 73 awards, including six Academy Awards. It won the following:
- African-American Film Critics Association award for Best Song, “The Show”
- Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Best Adapted Screenplay
- American Film Institute Movie of the Year
- BMI Awards’ Film Music Award
- Chicago Film Critics Association, Best Adapted Screenplay
- Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay
- Gold Derby Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay
- Detroit Film Critics Society, Best Screenplay
- Golden Trailer Awards, Best Music TV Spot
- National Society of Film Critic Awards, Best Actor (Brad Pitt)
- New York Film Critics Circle – (1) Best Actor, Brad Pitt; and (2) Best Screenplay
- Palm Springs International Film Festival, Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting (Brad Pitt)
- San Diego Film Critics Society, Best Adapted Screenplay
- Toronto Film Critics Association, Best Screenplay
Not bad for a baseball movie! I think I’ll have to re-watch it this week.
“The Rookie,” by Norman Rockwell (image courtesy of Wikipedia)
This summer, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, has several baseball-themed events on its schedule. The first was held this past Saturday. The Curator of Education gave a talk on “Rockwell on Baseball.” Following the presentation, participants had the opportunity to “develop and record their own favorite baseball story.” The event will be held again today and will be repeated on July 6, when the museum hosts “Home Run! An All American Baseball Day,” its Family Festival Day. That event will include: hands-on art making, a game of catch on the lawn, and members of girls’ baseball leagues who will talk about the rend of girls playing baseball. In addition, vintage baseball equipment will be on display and representatives of the Tri-City ValleyCats will display items from their 2018 championship season.
Several baseball exhibits have opened (or are about to open) at museums across the country, since I last reported on this, including two that just opened in Detroit. Check out the list below.
Upcoming and Recent Openings:
- Grammy Museum, Los Angeles, “Take Me Out To The Ball Game: Popular Music And The National Pastime,” now through the end of the 2019 baseball season.
- National Postal Museum, Washington, DC, “Baseball: America’s Home Run,” programming now through 2022, with exhibit opening in 2020
- Detroit Institute of Art, “Play Ball! Transforming the Game, 1876-2019,” June 15 – Sept. 15, 2019
- Detroit Historical Museum, “Detroit Stars & The Negro Leagues,” June 15 – Sept. 29, 2019
- Pasadena Central Library, “108 Stitches: The Art of the Baseball” and “Ballparks by Busser,” presented by the Baseball Reliquary, July 1-31, 2019
- Anderson County, Museum, Anderson, SC, “Dixie League Baseball,” opens July 2, 2019.
- Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York, “Baseball!: The Polo Grounds,” Aug. 22 – Dec. 31, 2019.
- Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, Fayetteville, NC, “Fayetteville Baseball Fever,” March 22 – Dec. 31, 2020
- City of Baseball Museum, St. Paul, MN, permanent exhibit space located on the 3rd base concourse of CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints.
Additional Exhibits closing in August or early September:
- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, “David Levinthal: Barbie and Baseball,” March – August 2019
- General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum, Hobart, OK, “Mickey Mantle: Baseball Hero in Black and White,” May 28 – Aug. 2, 2019.
- Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, Hartford, CT, “Rebuild via Home Run: Baseball in Connecticut,” Feb. 23 – Aug. 3, 2019
- The Met Museum, New York, “Selections from the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick,” collection of baseball cards, Feb. 11 – Aug. 11, 2019
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, “Ernest C. Withers: Baseball Photographs,” April 10 – Sept. 1, 2019
- Museum of the City of New York, “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson,” Jan. 31 – Sept. 15, 2019.
This musical looks awesome!
Last week, I lamented that I always miss the cool baseball exhibits at museums. Here’s another one I missed – it was on display last year at the Centennial Museum at the University of Texas at El Paso:
It seems like there is always an interesting baseball exhibit at some non-baseball museum or library. Unfortunately, I often miss them. This year, however, I vow to at least get to the ones in Washington, DC. Here are the ones I’ve found so far:
- The National Museum of the U.S. Navy has an exhibit entitled “Playball: Navy and the National Pastime.” The museum is in Building 76 and the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. It is open through April 30, 2019.
- “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson” opens at the Museum of the City of New York on January 31, 2019.
- “Mexican American Baseball 1940s & 1950s in the Valley” is currently on display at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley in Northridge, CA.
- Open now through February 24, “The Many Faces of Baseball,” at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, showcases baseball souvenirs of Fay Vincent, former Commissioner of Baseball. This is not the first baseball exhibit the Mattatuck has had, in 2017 they had an exhibit titled, “Yankees or Red Sox: America’s Greatest Rivalry.”
- At General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum in Hobart, OK, you can see “Mickey Mantle: Baseball Hero in Black and White,” from May 28 through August 2.
- The “Baseball Americana” exhibit at the Library of Congress in the Nation’s Capital Washington, DC, continues through June 2019. (It’s been on display for quite some time, and I still have yet to see it.)
- The Peekskill Museum in Peekskill, NY, has an exhibit on the history of baseball in Peekskill (it is unclear if this is a permanent exhibit).
Also on display this year are a few baseball-related exhibits. Through March 10 you can see the exhibit “A Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games,” at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. Currently, the Hershey Story Museum in Hershey, PA, has an exhibit on Hershey operations in Cuba, which includes photos and artifacts from the Hershey Sport Club baseball team and the baseball diamond built for company employees in Cuba.
In addition, two baseball-related museums are set to open this year: the Jackie Robinson Museum is scheduled to open in December in New York, and the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum also expects to open in Milwaukee, WI, this year.
And you may as well mark your calendars now for “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues,” which will open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, in 2020.
Aretha Franklin passed away earlier today in her home in Detroit. The Queen of Soul sang the National Anthem at not one, but two World Series, and gave us this amazing version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame:”
In 2013, Aretha Franklin was awarded the Beacon of Change Award by Major League Baseball.
Thank you for your contributions to the world and, especially, to baseball – may you rest in peace, Ms. Franklin.
As I reported last year, local rappers and DJs have already written at least two songs about Bryce Harper. Well, now we have another baseball-related song for the entire Washington Nationals team:
Do other teams inspire songwriters? If you know of any others, let me know about them in the comments below!