Smithsonian announces “Latinos and Baseball” collecting initiative at Adams State


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The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is working on a multiyear collecting initiative, Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues, to identify artifacts that reflect the social and cultural influence of the game on Latino communities.

The initiative is designed to build on a growing body of original research, oral histories and collections by and with Smithsonian partners to document the impact Latino communities have had on American history and culture through the sport.

The Smithsonian museum is also gathering stories from the public about the role baseball played in their lives and communities. The Adams State University Nielsen Library will collaborate with this effort by hosting a Document and Story Collection. Community members with any information including documents, photographs, memorabilia donations or oral stories are asked to bring them to the Nielsen Library from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29. Documents and photographs can be scanned and originals returned to owners.

The Smithsonian is seeking to document stories from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico for possible inclusion in a future exhibit. Curators will select objects based on the stories they represent as well as insight into personal, community and national narratives involving the national pastime.

Adams State will also host a panel discussion at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Nielsen Library. Panelists include Dawn DiPrince, director of Community Museums, History Colorado; Dr. Richard Loosbrock, Adams State professor of history; Gabe and Judy Lopez, authors From Sugar to Diamonds: Spanish/Mexican Baseball 1925-1969; and Stephen Velasquez, associate curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The panelists will discuss the Smithsonian initiative and the history of baseball throughout Colorado and its impact on American society.

"Baseball has played a major role in everyday American life since the 1800s, providing a means of celebrating both national and ethnic identities and building communities," said John Gray, director of the Smithsonian museum. "Through the lens of baseball, the Smithsonian seeks to illuminate the rich history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society."

The collecting event at Adams State will be the fifth in the country. The other four have been in San Bernadino, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Syracuse. The exhibit Sugar Beet Fields to Field of Dreams, 1920s–1960s, Mexican/Spanish Contributions to America's Favorite Pastime is currently on display in Nielsen Library until October 15.

For more information contact Eric Carpio, assistant vice president of Student Services, at 719-587-7802 or email