Negro Leagues Baseball, 1920-1960
William & Mary alumni Derrick C. Jones and Denise Mitchell Jones are sharing this Negro Leagues Baseball exhibit with the university community. Derrick completed his Master’s degree in Education from William & Mary in 1985, and Denise graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. They met on Braxton Court at the home of Mr. Libson & Mrs. Bessie Gerst and have been happily married for thirty-six years. Their devotion to children has always been a major part of their life. As retirees, Mrs. Jones is active in education through church-related activities, and Mr. Jones supports the church’s Upward Bound Basketball activities.
The Negro Leagues Baseball exhibit grew from a labor/hobby of 40 years and the love of researching and collecting baseball memorabilia. Over the years, Mr. Jones has made numerous presentations to children and adults in schools, colleges, retirement communities, community clubs, and athletic organizations.
This exhibit highlights just a bit about U.S. history and baseball between 1920–1960. Mr. Jones will tell you that, “behind every individual piece of memorabilia there is a larger story to be shared.” For example: “Was Oscar Charleston really as great as Willie Mays?” “The systematic team by team inclusion of men of color and the integration of Major League Baseball,” and “Would we have had a Jackie Robinson, if it had not been for Mrs. Rachel Robinson?”
It is Mr. & Mrs. Jones’ hope that your takeaway from this exhibit is a deeper appreciation for baseball and more importantly a deeper comprehension about U.S. history. They encourage all viewers to make comments and sign the exhibit guest book.
Please note: The portion of the exhibit located within the lobby of Special Collections is only available for viewing during Special Collections' operating hours (generally Monday–Friday 10–5). The portion in the Marshall Gallery is available whenever Swem Library is open.
Curators: Derrick C. Jones, M.Ed. '85 and Denise Mitchell Jones, BS '86
Design and Installation: Jennie Davy, Exhibits and Artifacts Curator; Shradha Dinesh '24, SCRC Graphics Student Assistant; Clarissa Cantacuzene '24, Special Collections Student Assistant; and Alex Anderson '27, SCRC Graphics Student Assistant