A Compton middle school student points to a photo of Jackie Robinson. He points out that the issue of Life Magazine was only 10 cents. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Compton College hosted more than 150 middle school students from the Compton Unified School District to a viewing of a special baseball exhibit from the historic Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The exhibit is at El Camino College Compton Center.
The Compton Athletic Club partnered with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) to bring the exhibit to Compton College.
The students were about to view more than 100 framed photographs of players, memorabilia, posters and a video showcasing the history of African American baseball from the late 1800’s to the 1960’s. On display were photos of Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Jackie Robinson.
“This has been a tremendous exhibit for our kids,” said Charles Evans, a founding member of the Compton Athletic Foundation. “They’ve been very enthusiastic about it and have learned a lot about the history of baseball here in America as well as baseball in Latin America.”
Evans pointed out the link between African American and Latin players, and said that many Negro League players made more than white Major League Baseball players because they were able to play in the Latin leagues while the white players refused to.
“It’s important for all of us to understand where we have been in our history and the past that we have today in terms of Major League Baseball,” Evans said. “These players are making millions of dollars, but at one point they were not even allowed to play. It shows that through struggle and effort and never giving up, you can accomplish your goals and your dreams. That’s one of the things that the Athletic Foundation has tried to show through athletics, that you can become a champion in life in any endeavor that you take as long as there is hard work and perseverance. That’s the objective of our foundation. That’s what this museum has shown, that these people decided that when they could not accomplish something in one venue, they were able to accomplish their goals in another.”
The students participated in an essay contest after viewing the exhibit, and five winners will be chosen and announce at a special dinner in mid March with scholarships totaling $5,000 being presented.
For more information about viewing the exhibit, contact the Compton Athletic Foundation at (323) 497-4665
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