Hall of Fame Will Celebrate Black Baseball over Memorial Day Weekend with Legends Game, Exhibit Opening and New Statue

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The story of the Black baseball experience and the heroes of the game who honor it will converge on Memorial Day Weekend for a celebration that could only happen in Cooperstown.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum salutes Black baseball by hosting the Hall of Fame East-West Classic: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues All-Star Game, presented by Boeing, May 25 at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field. Fueled by assistance from Major League Baseball, the game will feature a dozen Hall of Famers as coaches and more than two dozen former big league players in a seven-inning legends game.

The Hall of Fame East-West Classic will be played the same day as the Museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

The Hall of Fame East-West Classic will feature Hall of Famers Harold BainesRollie FingersKen Griffey Jr.Fergie JenkinsJim KaatFred McGriffEddie MurrayJim RiceLee SmithOzzie Smith, Joe Torre and Dave Winfield as coaches.

The East-West Classic rosters will consist of team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young along with former major league players Josh BarfieldJosé ContrerasIan DesmondPrince FielderDexter FowlerDoug GlanvilleCurtis GrandersonTony Gwynn Jr.Jerry HairstonScott HairstonLaTroy HawkinsRyan HowardEdwin JacksonJeremy JeffressAdam JonesRussell MartinDarrell MillerMelvin MoraDavid PriceTyson RossTony SippDee Strange-GordonB.J. Upton and Justin Upton.

Little League World Series hero Mo’ne Davis will also play in the East-West Classic, and two-time All-Star Harold Reynolds of MLB Network will join Mets World Series hero Mookie Wilson as honorary team members. Former Negro Leagues stars Sam Allen and Pedro Sierra will also attend the Hall of Fame East-West Classic.

Nikko Smith, the award-winning singer/songwriter and son of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” prior to the Hall of Fame East-West Classic, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. following a Home Run Derby beginning at 12 noon. Nikko Smith's appearance will be part of a fun-filled day in Cooperstown that includes pregame music and giveaways, including a free commemorative program magazine. The first 5,000 fans entering Doubleday Field will also be treated to a free bag of Cracker Jack in honor of the Museum’s new “Cracker Jack at the Ballpark” exhibit. Chicago Cubs voice Jeremiah Paprocki, the team's first Black public address announcer, will make a special appearance as the guest PA announcer for the Hall of Fame East-West Classic.

A wide variety of food options will be available at the Hall of Fame East-West Classic, including World Series champion Mookie Wilson’s Legacy catering, which features barbeque, sausage and chicken and will be one of several choices available, along with local favorites Brewery Ommegang, Gilligan’s Ice Cream, Sarchioto’s Concessions and Ty’s Taco-ria.

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

The game will be part of a weekend celebration of Black baseball history 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: 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.

The weekend will also include a special unveiling of a Hank Aaron statue at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The bronze representation of Aaron will be installed on the first floor of the Museum.

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.

Click here for more information about the Museum's Black Baseball Initiative.


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Legends Game May 25 in Cooperstown.

Little League Legend Mo’ne Davis to Take the Field at May 25 Hall of Fame East-West Classic

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Fan experience will feature food and fun at May 25 legends game.