Afro-Latino Legacy of Negro Leagues to Be Honored at Hall of Fame East-West Classic

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Black baseball thrived in the Negro Leagues throughout the 20th century, with the spirit of inclusion opening doors for Latin American stars of the same era.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate that legacy with Latino legends of the game at The Hall of Fame East-West Classic on Memorial Day Weekend in Cooperstown.

Negro Leagues hero Pedro Sierra, who pitched in MLB-affiliated leagues and across the Caribbean throughout the 1960s and 70s, joins the list of Hall of Famers and Black baseball stars who will appear at the May 25 Hall of Fame East-West Classic at historic Doubleday Field. Sierra, a native of Havana, Cuba, pitched in the 1956 East-West Game.

Sierra will be joined at the Hall of Fame East-West Classic by countryman José Contreras, an 11-year MLB veteran and 2005 World Series champion with the White Sox, and two-time MLB All-Star Melvin Mora, a native of Venezuela, both of whom will join team rosters that feature recently retired African-American baseball stars.

At their peak, the Negro Leagues offered playing opportunities to hundreds of dark-skinned Latino players prior to Hall of Famer Minnie Miñoso breaking that color line with the American League’s Cleveland Indians in 1949.

The Hall of Fame East-West Classic: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues All-Star Game will feature Hall of Famers Harold BainesKen Griffey Jr.Fergie JenkinsJim KaatFred McGriffEddie MurrayJim RiceLee SmithOzzie Smith and Dave Winfield as managers and coaches.

Fueled by assistance from Major League Baseball, the East-West Classic rosters will consist of more than two dozen former big leaguers, including José Contreras and Melvin Mora, who join team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young along with previously announced players Josh BarfieldTim BeckhamIan DesmondPrince FielderDexter FowlerCurtis GrandersonTony Gwynn Jr.Jerry HairstonScott HairstonLaTroy HawkinsRyan HowardEdwin JacksonJeremy JeffressAdam JonesHowie KendrickRussell MartinDarrell MillerDavid PriceTony SippDee Strange-GordonB.J. UptonJustin Upton and Dontrelle Willis.

Harold Reynolds of MLB Network and Mets’ World Series hero Mookie Wilson will join the rosters as honorary team members.

The game will be part of a weekend celebration as the Museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame East-West Classic are on sale now at or at 1-888-325-0470 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

The Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game debuted in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and was played annually through 1962, including several years that featured multiple games. Hall of Famer Bill Foster was the winning pitcher in the inaugural East-West All-Star Game and several future Hall of Famers starred in the game throughout the years, including Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Andy Cooper, Leon Day, Martín Dihigo, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Minnie Miñoso, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Willie Wells.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Classic Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

Located on the Museum’s second floor in the Yawkey Gallery, The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball will cover stories of early Black baseball, the Negro Leagues era, the complexities of reintegration, Jackie Robinson, post-reintegration progress and retrogress, and calls for change in today’s game while celebrating the newest superstars of the era. Meaningful stories from Black baseball are also being added to other exhibits throughout the Museum.

The exhibit is part of the Hall of Fame’s Black Baseball Initiative that includes additional outreach programs, educational materials and virtual programming and is made possible by the Yawkey Foundation with additional support from Bill Janetschek in honor of his siblings Robert and Ann, the Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation and the Bisignano Family. The initiative will also enhance Black Baseball stories found throughout the Museum.

The Souls of the Game, a title that pays tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal 1903 book “The Souls of Black Folk”, will explore the Black baseball experience of those men, women and children who were and are an integral part of our National Pastime.

Subtitled “Voices of Black Baseball”, the exhibit will highlight first-person accounts by the many individuals whose experiences shaped them, their community, baseball and America at large. Featuring historically significant artifacts, documents and photographs, and utilizing audio, video, and interactive elements, the exhibit will tell a more inclusive story of baseball, shine a light on and correct misconceptions about Black baseball.

For more information about the Museum’s Black Baseball Initiative, please visit