A National Community Collecting and Exhibit Initiative

Exploring baseball at the heart of our communities  |  
Exploración de béisbol en el corazón de nuestras comunidades

Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues

Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues is a multi-year community collecting and exhibition initiative at the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the SI Digitization Program Office, curators at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and partners across the nation. Together we focus on the historical role baseball has played as a social and cultural force within Latino communities to celebrate national and ethnic identities, build communities, and negotiate race and class relations in an increasingly globalized world.

Over the past five years and across 15 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, we have relied on close work with communities through a variety of public programs to create space for community voices to be heard. Through our collecting events we have cultivated more than 30 partners and included more than a thousand participants. We have hosted 17 collecting events across the country and grown NMAH collections by 145 new objects and 10 oral histories related to the history of Latinos and baseball.

Now, we are excited to announce our upcoming exhibition, ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas, which will open at the National Museum of American History summer 2021 and begin a national tour through SITES in January 2021.


This website provides a brief overview of the many pieces of the Latinos and Baseball project:



Community-Driven Partnerships

The Latinos and Baseball project launched in October 2015 with a panel of scholars and set of workshops, laying the necessary groundwork to create the National Museum of American History community collection initiative.

Speakers on stage at a museum event

Community Collecting Initiative

Through the lens of baseball, the project builds on a growing body of original research, oral histories, and collections by and with our partners to document the impact Latino communities have had on American history and culture. The collections and research reflect the complex interplay of racial identities and sports across the nation, allowing us to represent diverse and unexpected stories within our communities.

National Museum of American History exhibition in the Small Documents Gallery, opening summer 2021. 

¡Pleibol! exhibit

Check out our informational PDF icon brochure!




SITES National Tour 

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. For tour information and schedules, visit sites.si.edu. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) will be traveling a version of ¡Pleibol! to 15 cities through 2025.

¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas

PDF icon Sites Brochure Final Aug 6copy.pdf

Video and soundscape produced with partner La Vida Baseball 

In collaboration with TeamWorks Media, specifically through their La Vida Baseball team, we are developing a video and a separate soundscape that will appear in the exhibition and national tour.

3D Digitization project and mini-exhibition

As part of this project we are 3D digitizing 16 signature objects and creating a virtual gallery in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center and the SI Digitization Program Office.

Enjoy a narrated augmented reality (AR) experience featuring baseball legend Roberto Clemente's jersey and batting helmet, made possible by the Smithsonian Digitization Program Office in parternship with Verizon 5G Labs.

¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas book

Our dual-language (English and Spanish) exhibition book takes readers on a journey into the heart and history of U.S. Latina/o baseball. Each chapter features stories and artifacts from the Smithsonian exhibits of the same name paired with voices from the community of scholars, players, and enthusiasts who have contributed to the larger pan-Smithsonian Latinos and Baseball collecting and exhibition initiative. For more information, please visit the Penguin Random House website.

This book received generous support from the Cordoba Corporation and federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

website last updated 1/27/2020 by Juliette Garcia