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FILMMAKER/DOCUMENTARY



While visiting New York City in the spring of 2003, I had the privilege of meeting teacher and documentary filmmaker John Borst, owner of Grandvue Productions. We had an opportunity to discuss Negro Leagues Baseball, our “Living Legends,” and the program that we had been building. At that point in time, we had already traveled thousands of miles, filled our fifty-nine man roster, performed interviews, printed trading cards, and participated in a Congressional Resolution. John was fascinated by what he heard and expressed an interest in telling our story within a Negro Leagues Baseball documentary film. Over the next several years, we did some travelling and a whole lot of filming. In the years that followed, so much time and effort went into editing the footage to bring the story to life. We are extremely grateful to John for his dedication to this project, for his awesome talent, and his ability to capture and present this epic history..

"Striking Out Jim Crow" is an important part of our Signature Series Trading Card Collection honoring all men and women that played a part in Negro Leagues Baseball History… those that played long before Jackie Robinson, those that played by his side, as well as those that continued the significant, less mentioned, arduous effort to integrate Major League Baseball long after Jackie broke the color barrier in 1947.

By the early 1960s, Negro American League Baseball was reduced to merely four teams and they were falling on hard times. Grandstands and bleachers fanfare had faded... The sun had set on this final chapter of Negro Leagues Baseball History. In its demise, its purpose had been finally realized.

Jim Crow laws (sometimes referred to as Black Codes) were laws that mandated discrimination and enabled racial segregation through the common use of the ideological phrase, "separate but equal." These laws regulated separate use of public facilities and services including that of water fountains, bathrooms, and segregated seating on public transportation, not to mention participation in professional baseball. The Negro National League, established by Rube Foster in 1920, created an opportunity for baseball players (all shades of Colored) to perform at a professional level within a professional organization. Many men (and a few women too) filled the rosters of the Negro Leagues in the forty plus years that followed. It is the collective team effort that ran Jim Crow out of Major League Baseball that we acknowledge and celebrate.

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