South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

History center will open ‘Summer of Baseball'


In celebration of an all-star summer in Pittsburgh, the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum have a grand slam lineup of baseball-related events, exhibits and public programs.

For the opening pitch of the “Summer of Baseball” activities, the History Center will premiere a new Roberto Clemente photo exhibit and online exhibit that will open Saturday, June 3.

The exhibit, Roberto Clemente – Photographs by Les Banos, features more than 40 images of Clemente dating from 1969 through 1972. Shot by former Pirates team photographer Les Banos, the black and white images show the athleticism, grace, dignity and character that were staples of Clemente's Hall of Fame career.

The online exhibit, Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente, will be on display at the History Center beginning June 3. The bilingual (English and Spanish) Web site – http://www.robertoclemente. – features a virtual exhibit, children's sections with games and activities, and a teacher's resource area with free downloadable curriculum guides.

In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the 1971 World Series, a special luncheon will be held on Friday, June 2 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum to help celebrate one of the greatest Pirates teams of all time. The luncheon, which is open to the public, will allow visitors to mingle with members of the '71 Pirates team and re-live stories from the championship season.

As a special feature of the luncheon, FSN Pittsburgh will premier highlights of their upcoming show on the '71 team, which includes interviews with former players and video clips from the '71 season.

Tickets for the luncheon are $19.71 and can be purchased by contacting Naomi Horner at 412-454-6372 or nhorner Tickets must be purchased by May 30.

From July 7-11 the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will call the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum their home, hosting a series of public programs from Cooperstown that will provide All-Star fans with a chance to step back in baseball history.

The programs include hands-on activities for the whole family and actor Greg Kinney will provide theatre-style performances each day portraying some of Pittsburgh's legendary baseball players.

The final swing of activities will honor a legendary Negro League ballpark, Greenlee Field, former home of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, will be recognized with a Pennsylvania state historical marker on Friday, Aug. 11.

The dedication, held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Josh Gibson Foundation, and the Sports Museum, will honor Greenlee Field, the first black-owned and built ballpark in the nation. The park opened in 1932 on Bedford Avenue in the Hill District, an area known for its jazz clubs and bustling nightlife, and was home to a number of Negro League Hall of Famers, including Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, “Cool Papa” Bell and Oscar Charleston.

The marker dedication will kick off the Pirates “Heritage Weekend” festivities Aug. 11-3. As part of the weekend celebration, the Sports Museum is planning a series of public programs related to the negro Leagues, and is also installing updates in the Sports Museum to honor the 2006 Negro League inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

For more information about these programs visit www.


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