Hall of Fame to honor Black baseball with East-West Classic, new exhibit

May 10—The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will be honoring Black baseball as it hosts the Hall of Fame East-West Classic on Saturday, May 25 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

A dozen Hall of Famers will serve as coaches and more than two dozen former big league players will play in a seven-inning legends game to honor the Negro Leagues.

The East-West Classic will be played the same day as the museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

Serving as coaches for the Classic will be Hall of Famers Harold Baines, Rollie Fingers, Ken Griffey Jr., Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Fred McGriff, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith, Joe Torre and Dave Winfield.

The rosters of each team will consist of retired Black big leaguers with CC Sabathia and Chris Young serving as team captains.

Former Little League World Series star Mo'ne Davis will also play in the Classic, and Harold Reynolds of MLB Network will join Mets World Series hero Mookie Wilson as honorary team members.

Nikko Smith, an award-winning singer-songwriter and son of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, will perform the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" prior to the Classic.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., to be preceded by a Home Run Derby at noon.

In partnership with the Players Alliance, Museum admission will be free to all guests on Saturday, May 25.

A variety of food options will be available during the event, including Mookie Wilson's Legacy catering along with local options from Brewery Ommegang, Gilligan's Ice Cream, Sarchioto's Concessions and Ty's Tacoria.

The new Souls of the Game exhibit, located on the Museum's second floor, will cover stories of early Black baseball, the Negro Leagues era, the complexities of reintegration, Jackie Robinson, post-reintegration progress and retrogress and calls for change in today's game while celebrating the newest superstars of the era.

The exhibit is part of the Hall of Fame's Black Baseball Initiative that includes additional outreach programs, educational materials and virtual programming. The initiative will also enhance Black Baseball stories found throughout the Museum.

The weekend will also include a special unveiling of a Hank Aaron statue at the Hall of Fame in honor of the 50th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career home runs record. The bronze representation of Aaron will be installed on the first floor of the Museum.