Smithsonian, CSUSB collaborate on nationwide initiative on Latino baseball history

BaseballThe Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the John M. Pfau Library at Cal State San Bernardino have partnered to create a nationwide collection on Latino Baseball History.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the John M. Pfau Library at Cal State San Bernardino have partnered to create a nationwide collection on Latino Baseball History.
The initiative, “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues,” is a multi-year community project to collect, document, and preserve oral histories, artifacts, and other materials on Latino baseball teams from the late 1800s to the present.

From January 2016 through December 2017, the Smithsonian will sponsor eight community-collecting events across the nation. The first two are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19 and 20, on the CSUSB campus, home of the Latino Baseball History Project, which began in 2004 as a collaboration between Terry Cannon, executive director of the Baseball Reliquary, and Cesar Caballero, dean of the CSUSB Pfau Library, who at the time served as associate library dean at Cal State Los Angeles.

The initiative’s ultimate goal is to bring Latino baseball history collections to the general public at the national level. To that end, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services will curate a traveling exhibit, based on the collected artifacts, that explores and contextualizes the history of Latinos and baseball. The exhibition will be in development by 2020.

“We’re excited to partner with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on this important initiative,” said Caballero. “The materials acquired through the community-collecting events will add to the rich history of Latinos and baseball in the United States, deepening our understanding of their lived experiences and providing valuable insight into the historical dynamics of race and opportunity in America’s favorite pastime.”

Click on the image to go to the Pfau Library’s Latino Baseball History Project website.
The CSUSB February collecting events are free and open to the public. They will feature the Latino Baseball History Project Reunion, providing project alums and members of the public the opportunity to get together, reconnect, and discuss all things baseball and softball.

Everyone is encouraged to attend to share their baseball and softball stories, and to have their memorabilia documented and recorded for posterity. Donations of items that add to the narrative of Latino baseball are welcome. These include vintage photographs, baseball uniforms, gloves, bats and balls, as well as baseball cards, programs, lineup cards, ticket stubs, autographs, newspaper stories and more.

The program for Feb. 19 and 20 community-collecting event at CSUSB:

Feb. 19 – Authors, Scholars, Students

1:30–2 p.m.: Welcome/Opening
2-2:30 p.m.: Presentation by Eduardo Diaz, NMAH Curator
2:30-4 p.m.: Presentation by historians of Latino Baseball History Project
4-4:30 p.m.: Tour of exhibits in the Pfau Library
Feb. 20 – Veteran Players and Public

8:30-9:30 a.m.: Breakfast at Mitla Café (no host)
9:30-10:30 a.m.: Overview of Latino Baseball History Project
10:30 a.m.-noon: Tour of Historical Landmarks in San Bernardino
Noon-1:30 p.m.: Break in Program
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Panel Presentations by Veteran Baseball Players (at CSUSB)
2:30-4 p.m.: Players and Families Reunion/Collecting Event (at CSUSB)
The Latino Baseball History Project Committee is composed of members from both the community and Cal State San Bernardino’s John M. Pfau Library. Members include: Cesar Caballero, dean, Pfau Library, Cal State San Bernardino; Terry Cannon, executive director, The Baseball Reliquary Inc.; Richard Santillan, professor emeritus, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Tomas Benitez, artist, art consultant, and grant writer; Iwona Contreras, administrative analyst/specialist, Pfau Library; Jill Vassilakos-Long, curator, Pfau Library; Cherstin Lyon, history professor, CSUSB; Mark Ocegueda, Ph.D. candidate, UC Irvine; and Manny Veron, Pfau Library Special Collections assistant.

For more information, call Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-3447 or visit the Latino Baseball History Project’s event website for the latest updates.

Set in the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, CSUSB is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in inland Southern California. Celebrating its 50thanniversary in 2015, CSUSB serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit

Posted in Community Events, Events, Latino Baseball History, Special Collections