Colorado State University - Pueblo baseball exhibit includes numerous special events
PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo, in association with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will host Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience, a traveling exhibit which examines the challenges faced by African-American baseball players as they sought equal opportunities in their sport beginning in the post-Civil War era.
The newly renovated CSU-Pueblo Library and Academic Resources Center (LARC) will host the 1,000-square-foot exhibit and numerous special events between February 9 and March 16. All showings of the exhibit and related programs will be free and open to the public. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has provided funding for the exhibit to travel to 50 selected libraries. Pride and Passion is based upon a permanent exhibit of the same name on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y.
Four, free public lectures on topics associated with the exhibit as well as two videoconferences from the Baseball Hall of Fame have been planned as part of the exhibit. Award-winning author/illustrator Kadir Nelson will present “We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” at 7 p.m. on February 9 in LARC 109. More information on his book may be found at http://www.wearetheship.com/ The New York Times named the book one of the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008. He also was named the 2009 Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipient. You can visit www.kadirnelson.com for more information on the author.
On February 16 and March 8, special videoconferences will be broadcast from the Baseball Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. in LARC 108. The February 16 videoconference is titled, “Civil Rights: Before You could Say Jackie Robinson,” while the March 8 video conference will focus on cultural diversity in baseball.
Two special events will focus on ethnic Colorado baseball leagues. Colorado baseball historian Jay Sanford, an area baseball historian who consulted on "Baseball," Ken Burns' 1994 PBS documentary, will share his collection and research on the Denver Post Tournament, which broke ground in 1936, when black and white teams played one another, beginning at 7 p.m. on February 23 in LARC 109. Gabriel and Jody Lopez, authors of From Sugar to Diamonds: Mexican/Spanish Baseball, 1925-1969, Stories of the Greeley Grays and the Teams that Dared to Challenge Them, will discuss their research and collection about the Greeley Grays, a minor league team composed primarily of Hispanic men who worked the sugar beet fields, at 7 p.m. on March 8 in LARC 109. The Greeley Grays became one of the premiere teams in the Northern Colorado Baseball League.
On March 1, Adrian Burgos, author of “Cuban Star,” will discuss the life of Negro League team owner Alex Pompez, a proud and passionate advocate for Latino players, at 7 p.m. in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom. Pompez rose to prominence during Latino baseball’s earliest glory days, but like many in the era of segregated baseball, he found that the game alone could never make all ends meet, and he delved headlong into the seedier side of the sport—gambling—to help finance his beloved team, the New York Cubans. He also brought the Cubans, with their incredible lineup of international players, to a Negro League World Series Championship in 1947 and later helped his players make the transition to the majors. That today’s rosters are filled with names like Rodriguez, Pujols, Rivera, and Ortiz is a testament to the influence of Pompez and his contemporaries.
The final event associated with the exhibit will occur on March 12 and feature Drs. Lawrence Hogan and Robert Cvornyek, both nationally recognized baseball scholars, presenting “If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” a tribute to black baseball and music in the Jim Crow Era. Their appearances, as well as Kadir Nelson’s, are possible through a $5,000 grant from Colorado Humanities and CSU-Pueblo Diversity Initiatives Grants.
For more information on local events, contact Julie Fronmueller, assistant professor of library services and exhibit coordinator, at 549-2826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete list of events follows:
February 9, Opening Event: Kadir Nelson “We Are the Ship,” 7 p.m., LARC 109
• February 16, Videoconference from the Baseball Hall of Fame, "Civil Rights: Before You Could Say 'Jackie Robinson, ” 5 p.m., LARC 108
• February 23, Jay Sanford, “Denver Post Tournament” and Colorado Baseball, 7 p.m., LARC 109
• March 8, videoconference from the Baseball Hall of Fame, cultural diversity in baseball, 5 p.m., LARC 108
• March 1, Adrian Burgos, author of “Cuban Star, ” 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom,
• March 8, Gabriel and Jody Lopez, authors of “From Sugar to Diamonds, ” 7 p.m., LARC 109
• March 12, Closing Event, Drs. Lawrence Hogan and Robert Cvornyek, “If It Ain’t Got That Swing: Black Baseball and Music in the Jim Crow Era,” 7 p.m., LARC 109
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT: The traveling exhibition is composed of colorful freestanding panels featuring photographs of teams, players, original documents and artifacts in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and in other institutions and collections across the
U.S. The traveling exhibition content is arranged in six thematic sections, a breakdown that separates the story into cohesive chronological sections and allows flexibility to participating libraries in the display of the exhibition.”
1. Finding a Way in Hard Times (1860-1887)
2. Barnstorming on the Open Road (1887-1919)
3. Separate Leagues, Parallel Lives (1920-1932)
4. Paving the Way to Integration (1933-1946)
5. Signposts for Opportunity (1947-1959)
6. Baseball’s Post-Integration Era (1959-present)
Through a cultural timeline of American history that will be part of the “Pride and Passion” exhibit, visitors will be able to place the African American baseball story into the larger context of American history. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.