Lecture explores history of the Negro Leagues

Negro Baseball Leagues

1912 New York Lincoln Giants, Top Row: L-R: Bill Francis, Pete Booker, John Henry Lloyd, George Wright, Spot Poles. Bottom Row: L-R: Ashby Dunbar, Louis ‘Santop’ Loftin, Smokey Joe Williams, mascot, Dick Redding, Bill Pettus, Charlie Bradford. (Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

The Waynesboro Public Library will host a program on the History of the Negro Baseball Leagues on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m.

This free program will be presented by Gary Sarnoff, an author and researcher from the Society for American Baseball Research.  There will also be a display of memorabilia from some of the teams that will be discussed.

This lecture corresponds with an exhibit of Negro league baseball memorabilia at the library through February 28. Baseball was segregated during the post-Civil War and Jim Crow eras, but there were more than twenty professional baseball leagues which gave African American and Latin American athletes a place to thrive and entertain. Some noted league players include Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson.

Librarian Rebecca Lamb says, “When a local collector approached the library about displaying items related to the African American baseball leagues for Black History Month, we expanded on the idea by brining an expert to Waynesboro to share this often forgotten history.”

Sarnoff, who was recommended to the library by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, has been a researcher and writer with the Society for American Baseball Research for more than a decade. The SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee preserves the history of African Americans in pre-integration baseball and recognizes these players by compiling Negro League statistics, interviewing former players, and publishing articles and books. The Committee formed in 1971, the same year SABR organized at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The Waynesboro Public Library is located at 600 S. Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro. For additional information, call 540-942-6746 or visitwww.WaynesboroPublicLibrary.org.

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