Chief curator Daniel Piazza shares intimate knowledge, little-known facts and secrets about the stories told in “Baseball: America’s Home Run,” highlighting some of the spectacular objects on display, including discussions with key lenders to the exhibition on artifacts never-before displayed for pubic view.
I'm Dan Piazza, curator of the National Postal Museum exhibition, Baseball: America's Home Run, on view until January 2025.
Join me for an inside look at some of the most exciting objects from this blockbuster show that explores America's national pastime through stamps, mail and memorabilia.
Many professional baseball players, White and Black alike, held regular jobs to supplement their modest salaries.
Some found postal employment, including Edward "Ed" Bolden, manager of the Negro League's Hilldale Athletic Club and a Special Clerk in Philadelphia's Central Post Office.
Let's take a closer look.
This photo of the 1924 Colored World Series teams features Ed Bolden at center, as manager of the Eastern Colored League champion Hilldale Athletic Club.
With him are Rube Foster, co-founder of the Colored World Series and Alex Pompez, an Afro-cuban American who owned the Negro League's Cuban Stars team.
This letter to Bolden is from Willie "Bunny" Downs, club secretary and recruiter for the Mobile, Alabama Black Shippers team.
He described sharing a segregated ball field with the local White minor league team and mentions a few scouting prospects for Bolden's Philadelphia team.
Bunny Downs was worth listening to.
He later scouted Hank Aaron for the Indianapolis Clowns.
Bolden's 1944 performance review with the Post Office Department in Philadelphia showed a perfect rating and notes that he had worked 40 years for the Department, the entire time he was involved in Black baseball.
For more on the intersection of postal and baseball history visit the National Postal Museum exhibition, Baseball: America's Home Run, online at postalmuseum.si.edu/baseball