Giving One of Baseball's Greats His Due: The Andrew "Rube" Foster Mural Project | African Elements: Black Studies
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Giving One of Baseball’s Greats His Due: The Andrew “Rube” Foster Mural Project

The Andrew “Rube” Foster Mural Project

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About a century ago, throngs of people from throughout the City of Chicago flocked to the community of Bronzeville to enjoy a pasttime that Andrew “Rube” Foster had elevated to an art form. Known and recognized as the “Father of Negro League Baseball,” Foster formed the 1st Black owned baseball league in 1920 — a league that consisted of 8 teams. His vision also provided the foundation for future generations of black baseball players to realize their dreams of being allowed to play in the Major Leagues. As part of his impressive legacy, “Rube” Foster is one of 9 members of the Chicago American Giants ball club to be enshrined into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Now you can be a part of that legacy by supporting our project to produce a 3 story Mural in honor of Andrew “Rube” Foster in Chicago’s Bronzeville community.

The mural will be just the first step in telling the story of a forgotten history. The next step is to follow up mural with a three part exhibit featuring the Chicago American Giants. The exhibit will serve to educate Bronzeville and the city of Chicago and the nation at large as to the contributions of Rube Foster to his community and to major league baseball.

Although “Rube” Foster was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall-Of-Fame in 1981, his accomplishments have never been fully acknowledged. My team and I plan to remedy this by telling the full story because it is important that his story not be forgotten, lost to time, or ignored! Many of the landmarks are no longer around, such as the historic “Schloriling Park” home of the Chicago American Giants during the glory days of Bronzeville’s Baseball Legends. The park was located at 39th St and Wentworth Ave, at the current location of Mariano’s.

Why is the “Rube” Foster Mural so important might you ask? Well, in keeping with the primary stated goal of Chris Devins, Urban Planner and Artist of Bronzeville Legends Identity Campaign, “the first step in revitalization of any community or business district is to uncover and represent a neighborhood’s lost collective identity.” Chris Devins will be in charge of the production of this Mural.

“Rube” Foster’s 2nd founding principal was to “promote economic development in the black community.” So, you can see that “Rube” Foster’s impact on Bronzeville, Chicago, and Major League Baseball cannot be overstated!
Andrew “Rube” Foster was One of the true giants” in the early history and development of Bronzeville and at some point in the not too distant future I would like to see one of the youth baseball parks in Bronzeville renamed in honor of Andrew “Rube” Foster!

Just as Foster had done almost a century ago, this project promises to bring together and revitalize the community of Bronzeville and the City of Chicago around its collective cultural heritage and identity. The Andrew “Rube” Foster Mural project is the perfect way to commemorate and further the legacy of one of baseball’s greats and one of our cultural treasures. My hope is that Bronzeville, and the nation will give their support in helping to fund this project. We also want to reach out to Black Professional Baseball players, in particular, to support and fund our project!

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