Press Release July 20, 2000
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM MAJOR LEAGUE
BASEBALL TO IMPLEMENT AFRICAN-AMERICAN BASEBALL HISTORY STUDY
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
today announced that is has been granted $250,000 from Major League Baseball in order to
initiate a comprehensive study on the history of African-Americans in Baseball, from
1860-1960. The funds will allow the Museum to expand the scope and depth of its historical
collection on Baseball and American culture.
"We are indebted to Major League Baseball for its support of this extremely
important initiative," said Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey. "The
documentary record of the African-American contribution to our National Pastime is
incomplete and this endeavor will go a long way toward filling those gaps. This is an
extremely important research project, allowing us to further our mission as an educational
institution. The Baseball Hall of Fame has always maintained a wonderful relationship with
Major League Baseball."
This is the first time in the Museum's 61-year history that an academic research study
has been sponsored. A request for proposals will be disseminated throughout the academic
and research community. Researchers, to be led by a Ph.D.-level individual, will submit
bids to an advisory committee, which will select the final team to conduct the study. This
project is expected to be a multi-year effort with final due dates to be determined by the
advisory committee. The committee consists of former Major Leaguer and National League
President Bill White, longtime journalist and editor Sam Lacy, Hall of Fame Chairman Ed
Stack, Major League Baseball President Paul Beeston, and former executive John McHale.
McHale, Beeston and Stack are Hall of Fame Board members.
Once completed, the project will provide a comprehensive, objective and properly
documented historical narrative on the history of African-American baseball between the
years 1860 and 1960; a compilation of reliable and documented statistical data on the
various leagues, teams and players; a compilation of biographical essays on members of the
African-American community who participated in or contributed to this baseball experience;
a comprehensive bibliography of resources, and a comprehensive resource guide to these
sources; the identification of artifacts which may be available for exhibition or display
by the museum; and the creation of an oral history collection in support of this study.
In conjunction with the award, the Hall of Fame also announced that everyone attending
a Major League game on July 23rd, or for those teams not home on July 23rd, their next
home game, may present their ticket stubs in Cooperstown in 2000 to gain free admission to
"The Hall of Fame Library has the most complete Baseball archive in the world,
with more than 2.5 million documents," said Major League Baseball Commissioner Allen
H. (Bud) Selig. "Just like all great research facilities, the quest for greater
knowledge is ongoing. The Hall of Fame's collections on the history of African Americans
in Baseball is unsurpassed, but there is a lot about this subject that is not known
information that needs to be professionally researched and documented. What's learned over
the next few years will greatly expand our knowledge about African-American Baseball
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