Legends of the Negro Leagues are immortalized with these special bobbleheads.

If you’re a sports fan, you have heard the legendary stories of stars from the Negro Leagues.

Because of strict segregation laws and unwritten color barriers, Black players could not compete in Major League Baseball until 1947 when Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Those legends also competed in a time when their exploits were spread by print journalism and word of mouth.

Therefore, their exploits often went unheard or unseen.

But thanks to sports memorabilia like bobbleheads, the stars of the Negro Leagues like Satchel Paige, Buck O’Neil, Josh Gibson and James “Cool Papa” Bell will be immortalized from bedrooms to man caves in perpetuity.

Negro League fans and bobblehead collectors will be able to purchase mystery bobblehead boxes that will feature figures of some of the best to ever bless a baseball diamond.

The excitement is finding out what legends the collector will receive.

Mystery boxes are available featuring one legend ($20), three legends ($50) or five legends ($75).

A flat shipping rate of $8 will be charged per order.

Old school baseball fans should understand the excitement of opening up the boxes to see what player they receive because many will remember the feeling of buying baseball cards and ripping open the package to see if they got a card of their favorite player.

According to the press release, “Fans who purchase multiple boxes will receive unique bobbleheads in each box with a maximum of 50 unique bobbleheads available given the limited quantities of many remaining bobbleheads.

“The bobbleheads were all produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museums and Dreams Fulfilled. Sales of the bobbleheads have supported the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its mission.”

The Negro Leagues museum is located in Kansas City, Mo.

National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said, “We’re excited to be releasing these special Negro Leagues Mystery Bobblehead Boxes in conjunction with Black History Month. These boxes will give people a mix of some of our most popular Negro Leagues Bobbleheads from the past five years featuring legends like Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, Cool Papa Bell and many other legends that played in the Negro Leagues making this the perfect opportunity to start a new collection or grow an existing collection.”

According to the press release, “This is a special year for the Negro Leagues with the Negro Leagues MLB tribute game at Rickwood Field; the Baseball Hall of Fame Tribute to the first Negro Leagues World Series. On June 20th, Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, will be the site of a special regular season Major League Baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Rickwood Field is the oldest professional ballpark in the United States and former home of the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. On May 25th, the Baseball Hall of Fame East-West Classic will feature more than two dozen former big leaguers, with Ken Griffey Jr. and Ozzie Smith among the Hall of Famers who will serve as the East and West teams’ managers and coaches. The game will be part of a weekend celebration as the Museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.”

The National Bobblehead Museum is located in Milwaukee, opening its doors in 2019.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) was founded in 1990 in Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine District, which is the hub of the city’s African-American culture and community.

The NLBM moved into its 10,000 square feet home in November 1997 and has welcomed over two million visitors, becoming one of the most important cultural and historical institutions in the world.

Current Major League Baseball teams often make a trip to the NLMB while in Kansas City to play the Royals.

According to The African American Encyclopedia, “Negro League baseball had its origin in White-imposed segregation. As early as 1867, White professional teams officially had excluded African American players, forcing them to organize their own teams. By the 1860’s, African Americans had formed baseball clubs, and by the 1880’s, they were holding regional tournaments. As the nineteenth century yielded to the twentieth, Negro teams barnstormed across North and South America, sometimes competing against White teams.

“Andrew ‘Rube’ Foster is often called ‘The Father of Black Baseball’ in honor of his role in developing Negro baseball leagues. Foster won his nickname by outpitching Rube Waddell, ace of Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, in 1902…Desiring a more financially rewarding approach to Black baseball, Foster set out to create Negro Leagues patterned after the White major leagues. The result was the Negro League National League in 1920, followed by the Eastern Colored League in 1923 and a World Series between the leagues in 1924.

For more information on the bobbleheads and to purchase, click here.

Todd A. Smith
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