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Metropolitan Museum to Host Panel Discussion and Performance by The Baseball Project in Celebration of the Installation Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball

Pre-Event Book Signing with William C. Rhoden

Event Date: April 13, 2012
Event Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

An Evening of Baseball History and Music, an event celebrating both the new installation Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball, and the Met’s renowned permanent baseball card collection, will be hosted by the Museum’s Spectrum Initiative on Friday evening, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. The event, which will be held in the Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, will feature a panel discussion with sportswriters and baseball insiders on topics ranging from the racial integration of the major leagues to the history and evolution of baseball card collecting. The discussion will be followed by a baseball-themed musical performance by indie-rock “supergroup” The Baseball Project. The event is timed to coincide with the beginning of the 2012 baseball season and Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, which will be celebrated on April 15.

Panel Discussion — 7:30 p.m.
The Museum’s Associate Director for Collections and Administration, Carrie Rebora Barratt, will introduce the event. The evening’s panelists will include William C. Rhoden, sports columnist for the New York Times and author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete; Sharon Robinson, educational consultant to Major League Baseball and daughter of Brooklyn Dodgers pioneer Jackie Robinson, the player who broke baseball’s infamous color barrier in 1947; Dale Murphy, retired two-time National League MVP from the Atlanta Braves; and Sean Kirst, sports columnist for the Syracuse Post-Standard and author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig and Other Baseball Essays, which includes a chapter on Jefferson Burdick, the Syracuse collector who amassed the baseball card trove now at the Met. The panelists will draw from their diverse knowledge of the game and its history to facilitate a lively discussion of baseball, race, and sports fandom.

The Baseball Project
Following the discussion, The Baseball Project will bring to the stage its infectious blend of guitar rock and lyrics about baseball’s greats. In the lineup are Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, who have worked together as members of R.E.M. and The Minus 5; Steve Wynn, former member of The Dream Syndicate and acclaimed solo artist; and Linda Pitmon of Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3. The performance will include a guest appearance by R.E.M alumnus Mike Mills. The band’s set will feature new music inspired by their visit to the Museum’s baseball card collection earlier this year, during which they toured Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball with Freyda Spira, who is curator of the installation as well as Assistant Curator in the Museum’s Department of Drawings and Prints. The band will also draw from their popular full-length releases Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails and Vol 2: High & Inside.

Baseball Card Installation
The 60 baseball cards on view in Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball are drawn from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renowned Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, the most comprehensive collection of baseball cards outside of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The installation includes cards of Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, and Hispanic players such as Minnie Miñoso and Héctor Rodríguez. It is on view in Museum’s Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art through June 17, 2012.

Tickets
Tickets for the panel discussion and performance are $24 and are available now via the Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org/spectrum. Ticketholders will receive complimentary admission to the entire Museum, including the installation Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball, on the day of the event by presenting their tickets at the information desks located in the Great Hall and Burke Hall. Museum hours on Friday, April 13, are 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Pre-Event Book Signing with William C. Rhoden
Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., panelist William C. Rhoden will also be available to meet guests and sign books in The Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall in the Museum’s Uris Center for Education. He will sign copies of his book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete.

Limited-Edition Print
Spectrum has commissioned Hero Design to create a limited-edition print inspired by Spectrum Presents: An Evening of Baseball History and Music, which will be available for purchase on the evening of the event.

Spectrum
This event is presented by Spectrum, an initiative organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to provide fresh perspectives on the Met's collections and special exhibitions. Spectrum events offer the chance to interact with contemporary artists, to discuss art, music, video, and new media, and to socialize with other Museum fans. Previous events have included performances by indie rocker St. Vincent, singer/songwriter Glen Hansard, and dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts; a garden tour and beer tasting at The Cloisters museum and gardens; and a night of improvisational comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade honoring an exhibition of caricature and satire. For more information on Spectrum, visit www.metmuseum.org/spectrum.

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March 29, 2012

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