Pistol, Pop, Peanut and Pedro
What was it like to break records, crash through glass ceilings, and topple color barriers? As my colleagues and I finalize plans to host four baseball players from the Negro League and two players from the Flying Squirrels on Saturday, August 11, we realize what a once-in-a lifetime opportunity this is to learn about America’s national pastime from folks who made a difference. Henry “Pistol” Mason, Joe “Pop” Durham, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, and Pedro Sierra will share some of their experiences in an informal conversation with the audience. Their experiences offer potential to appreciate the Flying Squirrels’ current experiences on the field. Nearly 3,000 men, and only three women, played baseball for a Negro League team; less than 175 are alive today. This will be the first time Mason, Durham, Johnson-Goodman, and Sierra have participated in an event together in Richmond.
We are so delighted to co-present this event and look forward to seeing you at this program on Saturday from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. in our Robins Family Forum. Seating is first come, first served, and best of all, this is a FREE event! Oh, and we have books in our museum shop you will want to purchase—and the players will be available to sign autographs and take photos in the Cabell Gallery following our program. Feel free to bring a couple of collectibles for the players to sign. Curators hunt for such objects to build and diversify our collections. Who knows, one day your donated collectible might be on exhibit or used in a teacher’s institute to discuss American history.
Dr. Lauranett Lee is the curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society.