During the month of March, the Salisbury Art Space is providing those who visit the images, memorabilia, and some history of an era in baseball that may be gone but not forgotten. The exhibit, The Art and History of the Negro League features items from the personal collection of Chris Harrington (Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore) and art work created by people associated with the university.
Harrington developed a strong interest in the Negro League during the early 1990s when he assisted obtaining financial assistance for veterans who once played during a segregated time in American society. “It was a way to try and get them some supplemental funds,” Harrington said. “The average income at the time was for ex-Negro League baseball players was 14 thousand dollars a year. Organizations started to sell autographs and coordinated events to try to get them some press and some much needed funds.”
In addition to items related to well known players such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Jackie Robinson, there is a tribute to one of the great teams from the Eastern Shore – the Oaksville Eagles. The Eagles were essentially a minor league team formed in 1910. They barnstormed the country and competed with established Negro League teams. The exhibit remains open through March 31.