'¡Pleibol!' Highlights Latino Contribution To Baseball And Communities
A Smithsonian traveling exhibit "reveals how baseball brings people together regardless of race, class, or gender."
Baseball has played a major role in the life of Latino communities in America for the better part of a century.
The exhibit "¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues" highlights the contribution of Latino and Latina players to the sport and their culture.
In describing the importance of this collection, former MLB pitcher and Topeka native Mike Torrez describes the knowledge gap that he experienced growing up.
"Nothing was ever done to show people that we Latinos did have a life in baseball," says Torrez.
Author Gene Chavez has documented the baseball heritage of Mexicans through a film and a book and was invited to participate in putting together the "¡Pleibol!" exhibit.
"Certainly, it was their game also," Chavez says of Latinos playing baseball.
The exhibition arrives just in time for the annual Los Sabios (The Wiseguys) game honoring the former players of the Mexican leagues.
This year's game will also highlight "¡Pleibol!" with a ceremony on the field. Attendees are invited to the exhibition's opening at the National Negro Leagues Museum afterward.
- Mike Torrez, pitcher for 18 seasons in Major League Baseball
- Gene Chavez, co-author of "Mexican American Baseball in Kansas City"
The Los Sabios Commemorative Games begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 21, at the Urban Youth Academy, 1622 E. 17th Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.
"¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues" runs August 21 - November 14 at the National Negro Leagues Museum, 1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108. The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 - 5 p.m. The museum recommends purchasing tickets in advance.