The Negro Southern League Museum

Howdy howdy howdy. Today it was a struggle to stay dry in NOLA — the downpours and thunderstorms that have ravaged Texas are now upon us. Fortunately, there hasn’t been any major damage as far as I’ve heard, but I’m guessing the two sinkholes on Canal Street might be filled to the brim.

Anyway, here’s the second installment of stuff covering this week’s Negro Leagues reunion in Birmingham. Yesterday I unleashed some pics of the 21st annual Rickwood Classic, and this post includes a slew of pictures from my trusty iPhone 5s of the brand-new Negro Southern League Museum in downtown Birmingham, right next door to Regions Field, the current home of the Double-A Barons.

The museum, to say the least, is quite, quite impressive. Dr. Layton Revel and Co. did a phenomenal job. and best of all museum visits are free.

Tomorrow I’ll hopefully post some written thoughts about my hectic two days in Alabama, but for now, here’s some more photos …

Outside

Lineups

Chalkboard forming a mock up of the lineups for the 1948 Negro World Series between the Black Barons and the Homestead Grays, complete with game-used bats.

Balls

The start of the tour features thousands of baseballs signed by ex-players and managers. It was my favorite part of the museum.

Poster

A poster from the ’48 World Series.

Fences

Seats

The tour included a simulated portion of a stadium, including fences and seats.

Huntsville

A game-worn uniform from one of the teams in other parts of Alabama.

Ind 1

Ind 2

Ind 3

These three reflect the NSLM’s crucial emphasis of Birmingham’s influential industrial leagues, which launched the pro careers of dozens of local.

Wings

OK, remember when I said the framed baseballs were my favorite aspect of the museum? Well, this is actually tied for the top slot — a game-worn, 1958 uniform from Bill Greason when he played for my hometown Rochester Red Wings!

Bullet

I’m assuming y’all know this gentleman …

Pels

Finally … OK, remember when I said my two top items in the museum were a displays of balls and a Red Wings jersey? Yeah, umm, this one makes it a three-way finish — an authentic 1920s New Orleans Black Pelicans top. To make this display especially personal for me is the inclusion of several game-used items from Louisiana native Gentleman Dave Malarcher, one of my all-time favorite players and research subjects.

Tomorrow comes a little bit of prose … Thanks again for checking out the blog!

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Live from Rickwood Stadium

Over the next few days, I’m gonna do my best to sum up the incredible experience I had Tuesday and yesterday in Birmingham at the players reunion, the Rickwood Classic and the Negro Southern League Museum.

Today I’m posting just pictures from the Classic, tomorrow I’ll post photos from the museum, and Saturday and Sunday I’ll try to write a little about what transpired and how it impacted me. I wish I could have taken more at the game, but I was scrambling up, down and around taking notes and interviewing folks, an experience I’ll chat about this weekend.

So, without further ado, here’s a sample of photos from the game! …

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The top two are shots of the outside of the majestic and mystical park.

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A pic of the game itself between the Birmingham Barons and the Chattanooga Lookouts, which the latter won, 7-4. It was a hot day — peaking in the low 90s — but the humidity wasn’t too bad. It looked like it might rain Tuesday night and into Wednesday, but Jupe Pluvious held off.

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Monarchs teammates reuniting again.

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New friend and former Clown Yogi Cortez. I’ll take a bunch more about him later.

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Jaycee Casselberry and Henry Elmore taking the game in, with other players and fans behind them.

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Me about the fifth inning in the press box and somewhat sweaty. I sweat a lot, folks. That’s my nifty little media pass, a possession that threw me back to earlier days when I actually covered games, matches and other events as a spot news dude.

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This one is technically from Tuesday night hanging out in the hotel lounge, but I still like it. On the right is ex-Monarch Rev. Richardson, displaying his family mementos, and sitting at the table helping a former player check some stuff out on the computation machine is new Tulane grad, Massachusetts resident and diligent preserver of these legendary men’s legacy and memory Cam Perron, who always takes a key role in the reunion.

Tomorrow the museum!