We are so excited to share with you the news of an incredible conference coming up! “Out of the Shadows…Into the Light” will take place October 26-28, 2021 at the Cape May Convention Hall. Join us here in Cape May, NJ as we salute Negro Leagues ball clubs and their impact on baseball heritage. This three day event will feature many speakers, authors, and historians. Hear fascinating accounts of the lives and careers of the black players who starred on the region’s teams, including the Atlantic City Bacharachs, the Philadelphia Pythians and the Cape May Giants. The Greater Cape May Historical Society, Cape May MAC, Congress Hall and the Mad Batter Restaurant will be presenting the conference. We highly encourage you to make plans to be here!
“The rich history of Negro Leagues ballplayers deserves to be remembered to understand their courage and their contribution to baseball and life in America,” shares Mark Kulkowitz, proprietor of the Carroll Villa Hotel and the Mad Batter.
Day 1 – Tuesday, October 26th
The first day program will feature a discussion by Jerrold Casway. Casway is a retired history professor who specializes in 19th Century baseball, about the origins and contributions of Negro Leagues clubs, including the Pythians and the Giants.
Sportswriter and author Gaylon H. White will discuss his book, “Singles and Smiles,” about Artie Wilson, the Birmingham Black Barons star. He was the last pro ballplayer to bat over .400 and was a mentor to Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Sydnei SmithJordan, the artist who has created many portraits of Black baseball stars, will join White. Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Forest Whitaker, among others, have collected her works.
This program will be held from 4:30pm to 7:00pm at the Cape May Convention Hall. Admission is $30 and will be followed by a “ballpark favorites” buffet dinner at the historic Congress Hall. The cost for the dinner is $38.
Day 2 – Wednesday, October 27th
Historian and lecturer Mike Everett will speak about John Henry “Pop” Lloyd. Lloyd played professional baseball in the Negro Leagues from 1906 to 1932, including two stints with the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City. In addition, Everett will talk about Max Manning and Monte Irvin of the Newark Eagles, who were teammates on the Negro Leagues World Series 1946 championship team. Joining Everett in the discussion will be Manning’s daughter, Belinda.
The second part of the evening will feature White speaking about “The Mystery of Eddie Locke,” the Negro Leagues pitcher and slugger. In 1953, Locke won 21 games in half a season in the West Texas League. More importantly, eight of those victories came when he pitched complete games in both ends of four double-headers. He ended his career in the Mexican League and disappeared from public view.
The Cape May Convention Hall will hold this event from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Admission is $30. After that, enjoy a “ballpark favorites” buffet dinner. Held at the historic Congress Hall, the dinner will cost $38.
Day 3 – Thursday, October 28
Thursday’s program will be a panel discussion on “Who from the Negro Leagues belongs in the Hall of Fame” featuring White, SmithJordan, Everett and Casway. The event will conclude with a look at the career of Phillies great Dick Allen and his pending eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
For more information or to purchase tickets for this fantastic, one-of-a-kind conference, visit capemaymac.org or call 609-884-5404.
**Photos were provided by talented artist Sydnei SmithJordan.