Negro Leagues baseball, 1937
More than just material things, they communicate ideas, symbolize values, and convey emotions. Consider the changing meanings invested in this baseball from the Negro Leagues East-West all-star game of 1937. Buck Leonard, first baseman for the Homestead Grays, hit a home run to help the East win, 7-2, and kept this baseball as a souvenir of the game. In 1947, when racial integration of major-league baseball effectively ended the need for the Negro Leagues, this baseball became a piece of history. In 1972 the ball became a collector's item when Leonard was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Leonard saved this ball for nearly forty-five years before finally donating it to the Smithsonian in 1981.
African American History, Baseballs, Popular Culture Memorabilia, Sports Memorabilia