|Jackie Robinson steals home in game one of the 1955 World Series.|
In the 1880’s more than 30 black players were members of baseball’s major and minor leagues, but in 1887 league owners decided to not renew contracts with black players. Legendary figures like Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, James “Cool Papa” Bell and Satchel Paige went on to create their own teams and by the 1920’s had established a successful professional league for black players.
With a fast-running and power-hitting style of play, Negro league baseball grew into a multimillion dollar enterprise and a source of great pride in the black community. It wasn’t until 1947—when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier—that segregation in the sport came to an end.
Pride and Passion is composed of colorful freestanding panels featuring photographs of teams and players and original documents and artifacts, on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and other institutions and collections across the U.S.
The exhibition was organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, Chicago, and has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
An opening reception for Pride and Passion will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24, 4-6 p.m. in Cook Library Room 507, and will feature Steven Selzer, author of Meet the Real Joe Black: An Inspiring Life – Baseball, Teaching, Business, Giving. This reception is free and open to the public.
For more information about the exhibition and a full schedule of related events, visit the Cook Library website or call 410-704-5168.