CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY
As the nation celebrates Black History Month in February, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will pay tribute to the contributions of Black baseball pioneers, heroes and legends with programming in Cooperstown and online while hosting local and regional students.
These programs and activities are part of the Hall of Fame’s continuing commitment to celebrate and honor Black baseball as part of a new initiative that includes a lineup of educational outreach programs and a groundbreaking museum exhibit which will open in April 2024.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum chronicles the pioneering and historic efforts of African Americans in baseball every day via exhibits, online resources and educational programing.
This self-guided experience highlights artifacts significant to Black baseball
IDEALS AND INJUSTICES EXHIBIT
Locate the bat that was used by Ted Williams when Satchel Paige struck him out on September 14, 1951. Frustrated, Williams broke this bat on a railing in the dugout, and Paige later recovered the bat and added his signature. Years later in his induction speech, Williams called for Negro Leaguers to be eligible for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1971, Paige becomes the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame based primarily on his Negro Leagues career.
BASEBALL TIMELINE EXHIBIT
In 1966, Frank Robinson won the American League Triple Crown - leading the AL in batting average (.316), home runs (49) and RBI (122). Find his Triple Crown trophy, located near the entrance to Whole New Ballgame.
WHOLE NEW BALLGAME EXHIBIT
Find Mo’Ne Davis’ 2014 Little League World Series jersey near the exit of the exhibit. Davis gained national attention when she threw a shutout, becoming the first girl in the history of the LLWS to earn a win. When Davis donated this jersey to the Museum in September 2014, another Black female baseball player, Mamie Johnson of the Negro Leagues, came to Cooperstown to celebrate.
HANK AARON: CHASING THE DREAM EXHIBIT
Hank Aaron was wearing this uniform on April 8, 1974, when he hit
the 715th home run of his career. With this, he broke the record set by
Babe Ruth and became the all-time home run leader—a record he would
hold for the next 33 years.
AUTUMN GLORY EXHIBIT
A one-time Negro Leagues player, Hall of Famer Willie Mays used this glove to make “the catch” in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds. The famous over-the-shoulder grab has become an iconic part of baseball history.
YOUR TEAM TODAY EXHIBIT - BALTIMORE ORIOLES LOCKER
Find the cleats worn by Adam Jones on April 15, 2018, Jackie Robinson Day. They feature the date of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, April 15, 1947, as well as the date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Aug. 28, 1963.
THE PLAQUE GALLERY
In the Rotunda at the back of the Plaque Gallery, take some time to explore the plaques belonging to the Hall of Fame Class of 2006. The largest single class in Hall of Fame history, 17 of the 18 members are from the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues. The Class of 2006 also features the Hall of Fame’s only female inductee, Effa Manley, who co-owned the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League.
BASEBALL AT THE MOVIES EXHIBIT
The 2013 film 42 introduced Jackie Robinson’s story of courage and integrity to a new generation of baseball fans. This case features props used during the making of the film, starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson.
The History of Baseball and Civil Rights in America
In short, a snapshot of any point in time of America’s last 150 years includes the fabric of baseball. And often, baseball was at the forefront of cultural change.
“Jackie Robinson made my success possible,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Without him, I would never have been able to do what I did.”