Latino peloteros and baseball fans have a new reason to celebrate: the National Museum of American History (NMAH) just announced a massive collecting venture titled “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues.”
Sponsored by the Latinos Initiatives Pool and the museum itself, this multi-year community initiative focuses on the historic role that baseball has played as a social and cultural force within Latino communities across the United States.
The museum explains that the objective is to “identify artifacts that reflect the social and cultural influence of the game on Latino communities.” There are three events planned in California and New York this year, aimed at culling resources in local communities to preserve the sport’s history.
The project will kick off with a set of workshops and a scholarly panel on October 15-16, 2016 at the NMAH campus in Washington, D.C., and will continue with three to four community events this year and around the same number in 2017.
The first community collecting event will be hosted in San Bernardino, California this month.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has also joined the project by becoming a major partner in the organization of a traveling exhibit, which is planned for development by 2020.
This is a huge step for peloteros and all Latino baseball fans. Thank the organizers; social activism is a tough calling, but this goes to show that great things can happen when sports intersect with social justice enterprises.