Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory was rocking on October 21, as our Latino-themed Free Family Day kicked-off the opening of Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente. Over 1200 people flocked here to be a part of the lively festivities. From salsa lessons with our live band, to Latino food, to arts and crafts, we truly had something for everyone, even a clinic in our batting cages.
During the event, I chatted with several Puerto Rico natives who now call Louisville home. They were so thrilled--and moved--to see their homeland's flag displayed in the exhibition. I told them we got the biggest one we could find, and at 6' x 10', they believed it! We also discussed how much Clemente still means to them and what a wonderful opportunity this exhibition provides for people of all cultures to come together.
When the good folks at the Smithsonian first approached us about hosting a Roberto Clemente exhibition, I will admit that I flashed back to the bedroom I had growing up and the Clemente poster that was prominently displayed on my wall. It was a shot of him at bat. I've loved learning so much more about a ballplayer I already admired, and I know thousands of others will feel the same way as this show travels around the country. As the first stop on the tour, what an honor it is for Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to "bat lead off" for the Smithsonian on this!
-Anne Jewell, Guest Author, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory