A new exhibition on display at a local museum is hard-hitting, highlighting the impact of diversity, race and inclusion in the world of Major League Baseball.
“Becoming All-American: Diversity, Inclusion & Breaking Barriers in Major League Baseball” is being showcased now through July 5 at The New Americans Museum at NTC Liberty Station.
The installation includes a timeline that traces a visual narrative of the changing face of MLB, and the sport’s integration and influence of historically marginalized communities.
The display highlights nine players – including Sammy Sosa, Fernando Valenzuela and former San Diego Padre Gene Locklear – each representing a shift in the sport and the breaking of barriers.
“We begin to see baseball as a laboratory in which we have been able to experiment with and negotiate our comfort with difference, ultimately working towards tolerance and achieving diversity,” said Leticia Gomez Franco, exhibition curator.
At its grand opening last month, the exhibition received rave reviews.
"The San Diego Padres are proud to support an exhibition of such poignancy, attention to detail, and captivating history,” said Alex Montoya, Manager of Latino Affairs for the San Diego Padres. “Every student of history, culture, and baseball needs to see this exhibit. The New Americans Museum truly hit a grand slam."
The exhibition also includes a pop-up display dubbed “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” organized by Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History. The display showcases the contributions of immigrant and Jewish players to the sport.
In addition, “Milestones in Hispanic Baseball History” is on load from the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame and includes rare memorabilia from players like Roberto Clemente and San Diego’s own legendary Ted Williams. It also boasts an installation titled “From the South Bay to the World Series,” celebrating San Diego’s Park View Little League and its 2009 Little League World Series Championship.
The New Americans Museum is located at 2825 Dewey Rd. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the museum is free.