Tarleton, Wisdom Gym hosts traveling Negro Leagues exhibit

100th Anniversary of Negro Leagues

100th Anniversary of Negro Leagues


Thursday, January 30, 2020

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A traveling exhibit featuring the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues opened Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Tarleton State University’s Wisdom Gym in Stephenville and runs through February.

The display, created in 2012 in partnership with the Kansas City Royals as part of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, highlights 20 major league all-stars who, prior to integration, began their baseball careers in the Negro Leagues.

Well-known names like Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and Roy Campanella are among those featured as life-size baseball cards in the exhibit.

“This February marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Negro Leagues,” said Dr. Jarrod Schenewark, assistant professor of sport science. “The Negro Leagues and the players who came out of the Negro Leagues did a lot to help foster the civil rights initiative.”

African-Americans began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military, college and company teams. They eventually found their way to professional teams with white players. Moses Fleetwood Walker and Bud Fowler were among the first to participate.

However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force them from these teams by 1900. So, black players formed their own units, “barnstorming” around the country to play anyone who would challenge them.

In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster — a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, bringing black baseball to major urban centers and rural country sides in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.

Contact: Phil Riddle
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A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.