Pitch Black: African American Baseball in Washington

The Pitch Black exhibit includes information about the earliest of the state’s African American baseball teams.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes information about the earliest of the state’s African American baseball teams.

The Mariners will celebrate African American Heritage Day at Safeco Field on Sunday with a pregame ceremony to honor contributions of noted African Americans to the Northwest community. Among the honorees will be Herb Simpson, the last known surviving member of the old Negro Leagues Seattle Steelheads.

For those how are interested in taking a closer look at the history of African American baseball in Washington, the Northwest African American Museum has an interesting exhibit called Pitch Black that features artifacts, photographs, videos and oral histories of the men and women who played and loved the game of baseball from the late 19th Century until today. The exhibition runs through November 9.

Among those featured are Roslyn miner and star pitcher Jimmy Claxton (the first African American on a baseball card), the Owls Club women’s softball team (Washington State Champs in 1938 and Seattle City Champs in 1939), and the Seattle Steelheads, the West Coast Negro Leagues team for which Herb Simpson played.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes more recent history including artifacts from Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes more recent history including artifacts from Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.

The exhibit is supported by a donation from Mariners Care, our non-profit foundation, and numerous corporate partners including the Safeco Insurance Foundation, Verizon Wireless and Wells Fargo.

For more about the Northwest African American Museum follow them on Twitter @naamnw, on Instagtram @naamnw, or on Facebook.

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