Celebrate Black History Month with Stories, Programs at Hall of Fame

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – 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, the May 25th Hall of Fame East-West Classic legends game and the groundbreaking new Museum exhibit The Souls of the Game opening Memorial Day Weekend.

Fans can experience Black history through virtual programs hosted by the Museum’s team of educators. Upcoming events include:

Virtual Field Trip: Civil Rights 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8

Join us for a virtual program that explores the impact of racial segregation on baseball and American society. Click here to register.

Virtual Voices of the Game: Larry Lester 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15

Join us for a virtual program with author and historian Larry Lester, who will explore the history of the Negro Leagues All-Star Game, known as the East-West Classic, which is serving as the basis for the Hall of Fame’s East-West Classic on Memorial Day Weekend. Click here to register.

As many schools in the northeast pause for Winter Break in February, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates Jackie Robinson’s heroic journey – along with countless other milestones – in honoring Black History Month. The Museum will host special daily programs for kids of all ages Feb. 19-23 as part of Presidents’ Week. Families can experience unique Museum artifacts and learn about the history of Black Baseball and participate in programming throughout the week, including an interactive Pop-Up in the Museum’s Learning Center where guests will explore images, hands-on items from the Hall of Fame’s education collection and select artifacts that relate to Black baseball history. All events are included with Museum admission.

Several school groups will visit the Museum on field trips throughout February. For more information about school visits to the Museum, click here.

The Hall of Fame East-West Classic: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues All-Star Game will be played Saturday, May 25, at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field and feature Hall of Famers Harold Baines, Ken Griffey Jr., Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Fred McGriff, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Lee Smith and Ozzie Smith 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 team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young along with players Josh Barfield, Tim Beckham, Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder, Dexter Fowler, Curtis Granderson, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston, Scott Hairston, LaTroy Hawkins, Ryan Howard, Edwin Jackson, Jeremy Jeffress, Adam Jones, Howie Kendrick, Russell Martin, Darrell Miller, David Price, Tony Sipp, Dee Strange-Gordon, B.J. Upton, Justin 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. Located on the Museum’s second floor in the Yawkey Gallery, The Souls of the Game 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.

For more information about the Museum’s Black Baseball Initiative, please visit baseballhall.org/BBI.