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Metropolitan Museum to Host Panel Discussion and Performance by The Baseball Projec

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Metropolitan Museum to Host Panel Discussion and Performance by The Baseball Projec

An Evening of Baseball History and Music, an event celebrating both the new installation Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball, and the Met's permanent baseball card collection, will be hosted by the Museum's Spectrum Initiative on Friday evening, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. The event, which will be held in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, will feature a panel discussion with sportswriters and baseball insiders on topics ranging from the racial integration of the major leagues to the history and evolution of baseball card collecting.  The discussion will be followed by a baseball-themed musical performance by indie-rock "supergroup" The Baseball Project.  The event is timed to coincide with the beginning of the 2012 baseball season and Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, which will be celebrated on April 15.

Panel Discussion - 7:30 p.m.
The Museum's Associate Director for Collections and Administration, Carrie Rebora Barratt, will introduce the event. The evening's panelists will include William C. Rhoden, sports columnist for the New York Times and author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete; Sharon Robinson, educational consultant to Major League Baseball and daughter of Brooklyn Dodgers pioneer Jackie Robinson, the player who broke baseball's infamous color barrier in 1947; Dale Murphy, retired two-time National League MVP from the Atlanta Braves; and Sean Kirst, sports columnist for the Syracuse Post-Standard and author of The Ashes of Lou Gehrig and Other Baseball Essays, which includes a chapter on Jefferson Burdick, the Syracuse collector who amassed the baseball card trove now at the Met.  The panelists will draw from their diverse knowledge of the game and its history to facilitate a lively discussion of baseball, race, and sports fandom.

The Baseball Project
Following the discussion, The Baseball Project will bring to the stage its infectious blend of guitar rock and lyrics about baseball's greats.  In the lineup are Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, who have worked together as members of R.E.M. and The Minus 5; Steve Wynn, former member of The Dream Syndicate and acclaimed solo artist; and Linda Pitmon of Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3.  The performance will include a guest appearance by R.E.M alumnus Mike Mills.  The band's set will feature new music inspired by their visit to the Museum's baseball card collection earlier this year, during which they toured Breaking the Color Barrier in Major League Baseball with Freyda Spira, who is curator of the installation as well as Assistant Curator in the Museum's Department of Drawings and Prints.  The band will also draw from their popular full-length releases Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails and Vol 2: High & Inside.

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