A year ago, Phil Sklar had an idea – a dream, really – to honor the centennial of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, with a set of bobbleheads honoring the top 32 players who starred in the league.
Today, that dream is a reality thanks in part to 748 backers who pledged $75,059 to create a series of bobbleheads that you have to see to appreciate.
“We started with a goal of $10,000 and far exceeded that,” said Phil Sklar, the president and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. “We launched a Kickstarter Campaign in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Dreams Fulfilled to honor the Negro Leagues and 32 of the top players leading up to the Negro Leagues’ Centennial in 2020.
“Prior to this groundbreaking series, fewer than half of the 32 individuals comprising the Negro Leagues Centennial Team had a bobblehead – the ultimate honor for any athlete. The final bobbleheads in the series are finished and we are far ahead of our February 2020 goal.”
• The bobbleheads are available at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City at 18th and Vine’s historic Jazz District, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and from Dreams Fulfilled.
• Each bobblehead in the series is individually numbered to only 2,020.
• The bobbleheads are $30 each plus an $8 flat rate shipping charge per order. The bobbleheads are officially licensed by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and a portion goes to the Museum as well as to the relatives of the players when applicable.
The Centennial Team Series is comprised of 30 of the greatest African American and Cuban players from 1895-1947 as well as an owner and manager.
Each bobblehead in the series is individually numbered to 2,020 and comes in a collector’s box with a “back story” of the player.
The Negro League Centennial Team (1920-2020) is comprised of 30 of the greatest African American and Cuban players from 1895-1947, as well as one team owner and a manager.
Each player (see fact box on page B1 for list) is depicted on a baseball-shaped base with a replica of Kansas City’s Paseo YMCA, the site where the Negro National League was organized on Feb. 13, 1920.
The players comprising the Negro Leagues Centennial Team were announced at a special event at the NLBM in Kansas City on Dec. 12.
The Negro Leagues Centennial Celebration begins Feb. 13, 2020, with the opening of a special Centennial Art Exhibition featuring the works of artist Graig Kreindler.
The exhibit will be a visual history of the Negro Leagues through a showcase over 200 original portrait studies commissioned by Seattle businessman and NLBM licensee, Jay Caldwell, owner of Dreams Fulfilled.
The exhibition will also include rare artifacts from Caldwell’s personal collection. From August through the end of 2020, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum will host a special exhibition featuring Kreindler’s works and rare artifacts from Caldwell’s collection.
“The Negro Leagues Centennial series is bringing long overdue recognition to players who were not only among the best to ever play the game, but also early civil rights pioneers who helped pave the way for integration in baseball and the country,” said Jay Caldwell, founder of Dreams Fulfilled.