Hall of Fame Initiative Expands Black Baseball Storytelling Throughout Museum

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Black baseball history begins simultaneously with the game itself, as culturally diverse players and teams have thrived as long as the game has been played.

As the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opens its new exhibit, The Souls of the Game, on Memorial Day Weekend, meaningful stories of Black baseball history are also being added to existing exhibits throughout the Museum to widen the scope of the visitor experience.

Exhibit updates scheduled to be incorporated by the opening of The Souls of the Game include:

  • A bronze statue of Hank Aaron that will be located on the Museum’s first floor. Made possible through a gift of Hall of Fame supporters Jane and Bob Crotty and with the guidance and support of Aaron’s widow, Billye, the statue will debut as part of the Hall of Fame Classic celebration during Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Taking the Field, featuring several image updates including a team photo of the Oberlin College baseball team that includes Moses and Weldy Walker and a photo of catcher Javan Emory
  • Art of Baseball, including highlighting prominent Black artists like Deryl Daniel Mackie and Kadir Nelson
  • Whole New Ballgame, with additional storytelling of Black baseball through the incorporation of Dick Allen’s White Sox jersey

As the Black Baseball Initiative continues to grow, updated stories will be included throughout the Museum. In the coming months, additional information about Jackie Robinson will be inserted into the Baseball Timeline exhibit, while Hall of Famer Bud Fowler’s career will be incorporated into Taking the Field, and images and ephemera from the Colored World Series will be added into Autumn Glory.

Located on the Museum’s second floor in the Yawkey Gallery and opening May 24, 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.

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. 

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