A new set featuring 184 baseball cards of Negro League greats has been released.
The Centennial Negro Leagues Legends set is individually numbered to 5,000. The card designs are based on portraits painted by acclaimed baseball artist Graig Kreindler.
Dreams Fulfilled, which operates NegroLeaguesHistory.com, is behind the set, which is the only one authorized by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the players’ families during the Centennial.
Alphabetically, the cards range from Hank Aaron to Wild Bill Wright. They include cards of Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Buck Leonard, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and all other members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame who began their careers in the Negro Leagues prior to 1947. Other well-known players whose careers began in the Negro Leagues include Elston Howard and Minnie Miñoso.
Chronologically, the set begins in 1871 with Octavius Catto, an early civil rights leader and educator, of the Pythian Base Ball Club of Philadelphia and ends with Connie Morgan in 1954. Morgan was one of three women, along with Toni Stone and Mamie “Peanuts” Johnson, who played in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns and are featured in the card set.
The card backs contain biographical information as well as stories in three broad categories – baseball, American History and Civil Rights. Jay Caldwell, founder of Dreams Fulfilled, stated, “Our hope is to educate the public, not only on the skill these players possessed, but also for their role in eroding racial barriers. They demonstrated their skills in a statistically backed meritocracy, which demanded equal treatment. When Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, he stood on the shoulders of these great ball players who proceeded him.”
The set is licensed by the NLBM in Kansas City, Missouri, which receives a royalty on each set sold. In addition, the estates of the players receive a royalty when applicable. Caldwell and Kreindler have jointly committed to donating 5 percent of sales of the Negro Leagues Legends baseball card set to the National Civil Rights Museum in recognition of their belief that the Negro Leagues players were early civil rights pioneers and to educate the public on civil rights issues.
Currently, 230 Kreindler portraits are on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City as part of the featured exhibition Black Baseball in Living Color.
The set is priced at $59.95. Quantity discounts are available and there are package deals in conjunction with the new Negro Leagues bobbleheads. The card sets will ship to customers the week of June 22.