In honor of the Jefferson R. Burdick Collection of more than thirty thousand baseball cards—dating from 1887 to 1959—Spectrum organized an exciting event on April 13, 2012. Early-comers met William C. Rhoden in the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education for a pre-show signing of his book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete.
The event continued with a lively panel discussion about our card collection and its relationship to baseball. Panelists included:
- Sean Kirst, columnist at the Syracuse Post-Standard and author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig and Other Baseball Essays
- Dale Murphy, retired Major League Baseball player
- William C. Rhoden, sports columnist at the New York Times
- Sharon Robinson, educational consultant, author, and daughter of the great Jackie Robinson
After the panel discussion, the supergroup The Baseball Project (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, and Linda Pitmon, with a special guest appearance by Mike Mills) performed a very special set, with songs inspired by the Museum's baseball card collection.
This event was held in conjunction with the exhibition Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball.
Above: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers, from Baseball's Greatest Stars (R401-1), no. 79. Leaf Gum, Co., Chicago, IL, 1948–1949. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick. Burdick 326, R401-1.30