The history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society through the lens of baseball will be shared in the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s (SITES) new bilingual (Spanish and English) exhibition, “¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los Barrios y las Grandes Ligas.” The exhibition will be on view at the Castle Museum from January 23, 2021, through April 18, 2021.
“¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los Barrios y las Grandes Ligas” was organized by the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and received support from the Cordoba Corp. and the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
The exhibition captures the excitement of the game, from community baseball teams to the Major League, highlighting how the game can bring people together regardless of race, class, and gender. It will feature reproductions of historic and personal photographs, and graphic elements as well as a short bilingual video produced by “La Vida Baseball.” Throughout the 20th century in the United States and Latin America, baseball provided a path for a better future. Workers in agriculture and industry in the United States used baseball to make ends meet and as a socially acceptable space to find community and organize for rights and justice.
“¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los Barrios y las Grandes Ligas” has been made possible through close collaborations with over 30 partners in 14 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico to help bring visibility to Latino community histories through baseball. Smithsonian curators collaborated with partners and local communities across the country to document and preserve baseball stories at the heart of Latino communities. The traveling exhibition will visit 15 cities through 2025.
The Castle Museum of Saginaw County History is working closely with board member Larry Rodarte, editor of Mi Gente magazine, on a local complimentary exhibit. In addition, the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame will be providing artifacts and information from their collection to supplement this intriguing look at baseball’s impact on the Latino community and Saginaw County as a whole.
SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations are critical national outreach units at the Smithsonian Institution. For more than 65 years, SITES has been connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history. Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term partnerships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Panama. Together, SITES and Affiliations share the Smithsonian’s vast resources with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. Visit http://sites.si.edu and https://affiliations.si.edu for more information.
The National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more informed future. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu.