Negro Leagues Legends Centennial Baseball Card Set Unveiled
This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum and NegroLeaguesHistory.com unveiled the Negro Leagues Legends Centennial Baseball Card Set, which is available as part of a special package featuring a mystery Negro Leagues Bobblehead. The card set is the only one commemorating this year’s Negro Leagues Centennial. The set is licensed by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, which receives a royalty from every set sold.
Given the recent events surrounding the killing of George Floyd and the protests that have swept across the world, we feel this card set and the bobbleheads honoring the Negro Leagues and its players are as important as ever, as they will serve as a mechanism to educate current and future generations about past injustices. These players fought for racial equality at a time when they couldn’t play on the same field as white players and they paved the way for so many. However, the recent events remind us again that there is still a great deal of inequality, and we hope this will play a small role in educating people about the past so we can change the future.
Negro Leagues Legends Centennial Baseball Card Set Unveiled
This morning, Dreams Fulfilled, LLC, which operates NegroLeaguesHistory.com, announced a Centennial Negro Leagues Legends card set featuring 184 baseball cards of Negro Leagues players. Each card set is individually numbered to only 5,000 and they are now available to order. This is the only card set authorized by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) and players’ families to celebrate the Centennial.
Both Dreams Fulfilled and the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum (bobbleheadhall.com) are offering a special package that includes the baseball card set with a random Negro Leagues bobblehead for $80. The card sets will ship to customers the week of June 22nd.
The artwork for the cards is based on portraits painted by Graig Kreindler, the 2018 United States Sports Academy's Sport Artist of the Year. Currently 230 of Graig’s portraits are on display at the NLBM as part of the featured exhibition Black Baseball in Living Color. NLBM president, Bob Kendrick, said, “This exhibit is the greatest platform the museum has ever had to tell its story.”
Alphabetically, the cards range from Hank Aaron to Wild Bill Wright. They include cards of Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Buck Leonard, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and all other members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame who began their careers in the Negro Leagues prior to 1947. Other well-known players whose careers began in the Negro Leagues include Elston Howard and Minnie Miñoso.
Chronologically, the set begins in 1871 with Octavius Catto, an early civil rights leader and educator, of the Pythian Base Ball Club of Philadelphia and ends with Connie Morgan in 1954. Morgan was one of three women, along with Toni Stone and Mamie “Peanuts” Johnson, who played in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns and are featured in the card set.
The card backs contain biographical information as well as stories in three broad categories – baseball, American History and Civil Rights. Jay Caldwell, founder of Dreams Fulfilled, stated, "Our hope is to educate the public, not only on the skill these players possessed, but also for their role in eroding racial barriers. They demonstrated their skills in a statistically backed meritocracy, which demanded equal treatment. When Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, he stood on the shoulders of these great ball players who proceeded him.”
The set is licensed by the NLBM in Kansas City, Missouri, which receives a royalty on each set sold. In addition, the estates of the players receive a royalty when applicable. Jay Caldwell and Graig Kreindler have jointly committed to donating 5% of sales of the Negro Leagues Legends baseball card set to the National Civil Rights Museum in recognition of their belief that the Negro Leagues players were early civil rights pioneers and to educate the public on civil rights issues.
About the Negro Leagues:
The first successful Negro League was founded by Rube Foster on February 13, 1920 at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City. Foster believed an organized league structured like Major League Baseball would lead to eventual integration of the sport and racial reconciliation. Foster did not live to see his dream come true. Others picked up his cause and in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line. Prior to 1920, African American players played on independent teams throughout the country, usually barnstorming to cities and towns, large and small.
About Dreams Fulfilled:
Dreams Fulfilled was organized to promote the Negro National League Centennial in 2020. Its founder, Jay Caldwell, has been selected by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the primary exhibitor for an art and artifact exhibition at the museum running between February 13 and July 31, 2020. Dreams Fulfilled is exhibiting 300 original pieces of art honoring Negro League players and nearly 100 artifacts of African American baseball dating back to 1871. Visit us at www.NegroLeaguesHistory.com or www.facebook.com/NegroLeaguesHistory. In addition to this card set, Dreams Fulfilled sells Negro Leagues bobbleheads developed in partnership with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. Currently 55 are available for sale. Dreams Fulfilled also sells postcard sets, refrigerator magnets, t-shirts and coffee mugs.
About the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s first museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America. The NLBM operates one block from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster founded the Negro National League in 1920. In 2006, the NLBM was designated as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” by the United States Congress.
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st. St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals and teams across the country. Visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.