CHARLESTON, W.Va. (July 31, 2020) – As part of the Centennial Celebration of the creation of the Negro Leagues, the West Virginia Power, in partnership with the Josh Gibson Foundation* and AARP-West Virginia*, is excited to be the first team across professional baseball in 2020 to host this special exhibit
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (July 31, 2020) – As part of the Centennial Celebration of the creation of the Negro Leagues, the West Virginia Power, in partnership with the Josh Gibson Foundation and AARP-West Virginia, is excited to be the first team across professional baseball in 2020 to host this special exhibit honoring the Negro Leagues.
Barring severe weather or new COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibit will run from noon to 6 PM Friday, August 7, under the third-base concourse canopy at Appalachian Power Park. The event is free and open to the public, but visitors must wear face coverings and adhere to proper social distancing requirements. Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, health and safety rules will be strictly enforced so people can enjoy this unique opportunity safely individually or in small groups of family members and/or friends.
“We had arranged for this display to be a central part of our African American Heritage Night. Even though the pandemic forced the cancellation of the game and promotion, we believe this showcase of baseball’s history and history-making players is vital for us to host at our facility so we can honor the vibrant African American community in Charleston,” said Power Managing Partner Tim Wilcox. “We are proud to work with the Josh Gibson Foundation, Mr. Gibson’s great grandson, Sean, and AARP–West Virginia to provide this powerful and historic exhibit for our entire community.”
Josh Gibson was considered the “Babe Ruth of the Negro Leagues” as a Baseball Hall of Famer and record-setting slugger for the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. The exhibit features artifacts, photos, uniforms and other memorabilia from his playing days with those teams and Veracruz of the Mexican League, along with visual displays and insights about the Negro Leagues and professional baseball during that era.
“With all that is happening throughout our nation this summer, I am pleased to have this opportunity with the West Virginia Power to help people understand more about the history of African Americans in professional baseball, which in many ways reflected and reflects our larger society,” said Sean Gibson, Executive Director of the Josh Gibson Foundation. “As people of all ages learn more about Josh’s perseverance, courage and achievements in the face of many obstacles, we hope they may join the cause toward helping young people prepare for a brighter future through education, life coaching and lessons on the baseball field.”
Reservations are recommended if you want to visit the exhibit before 2 PM or after 4 PM, and can be made by e-mailing [email protected] by noon Thursday, August 6. People and small groups without reservations will be admitted as space permits, in keeping with federal, state and local health and safety guidelines.
“AARP is pleased to help make this exhibit happen in West Virginia’s Capital City as one of several community connections that AARP makes to recognize and celebrate contributions of African Americans, not only to sports in America, but also our nation’s overall history, heritage and culture,” said Gaylene Miller, AARP WV State Director. “We hope that people across generations will be able enjoy this exhibit as we all learn more about our past and move toward a more productive and inclusive future for all Americans.”
ABOUT THE JOSH GIBSON FOUNDATION
The Josh Gibson Foundation believes in the endless possibilities for potential in today's youth. By providing academic and athletic programs that foster leadership and scholarship, the skills necessary for tomorrow's successes are created today. The goal of the Foundation is to carry on the legacy of greatness and accomplishment embodied by Josh Gibson by developing programs that help children of every level of ability reach their potential, and to create opportunities that set the Josh Gibson Foundation apart from other organizations and provide value for our communities. For more information, visit: www.joshgibson.org.