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'¡Pleibol!' Highlights Latino Contribution To Baseball And Communities

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The Smithsonian National Museum of American History
The exhibit "¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues" will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum through November 14, 2021.

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.

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.

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