Nine Hall of Fame Legends Coming to Cooperstown for East-West Classic Memorial Day Weekend
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Hall of Famers whose careers span the last six decades will return to Cooperstown on Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate the history of Black baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.
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, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Fred McGriff, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice and Lee Smith, joining Ken Griffey Jr. and Ozzie Smith, who were previously announced as members of the coaching staff.
Fueled by assistance from Major League Baseball, the East-West Classic rosters will consist of more than two dozen former big leaguers, including Howie Kendrick, Darrell Miller and Dee Strange-Gordon, who join team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young along with previously announced 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, Russell Martin, David Price, Tony Sipp, 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.
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 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, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, 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 baseballhall.org/BBI.