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 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.
“¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas” was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Museum of American History. The exhibition received generous support from the Cordoba Corporation and Linda Alvarado, and federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit http://sites.si.edu.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum’s building is currently closed but its online exhibits and learning resources can be accessed at http://americanhistory.si.edu.
Header image caption and credit: Kansas City Lady Aztecas softball team, Kansas City, Kansas, 1939. Courtesy of Rose Arroyo in memory of Mary Montes.