Baseball in Living Color presents "Legends of the Negro Leagues"
A program conceived in 1998, built around an amazing line-up of 59 Negro Leagues Baseball veterans we call "Living Legends".
It was early summer in 1998; I was a part owner and operator of Trading Faces, a small company that designed and manufactured trading cards for kids and community heroes. One afternoon we had the good fortune to meet Pedro Sierra, a former Negro Leagues Baseball Player. He had visited our office to have a personalized trading card created to highlight his Negro Leagues Baseball (NLB) experience. At that time we knew very little about this era of segregated baseball. After several hours of interesting discussion, we came to the general consensus that many men, just like Pedro, would be interested in and be benefited by a collaborated effort to tell their stories and the opportunity to share this amazing Negro Leagues Baseball history. So, the program was borne- and with little more than a small to do list our journey began.
We set out to share our plan with as many NLB Veterans as we possibly could. We drove many miles to meet face to face with each veteran personally and then invited each to join a collective team (turned out to be 59) to be represented as our own "NLB Living Legends". Once the team roster was complete, we worked diligently to provide each one of them a form of recognition that had for several decades evaded them- a baseball trading card of there very own!
After a few short months, we hit the road again, to film personal interviews that would respectfully preserve each of our men's historical contribution. Original photographs were taken and eventually used to cover the face of our trading card templates and then document our entire effort to make a simple plan a reality. The Signature Series trading cards were soon created, preserved in digital file format and then hand carried to PBM Graphics in Durham, North Carolina to be printed.
The trading cards, completed in late December of 2001 were delivered to our office in early January of 2002 and after having been inventoried, packed for another adventurous road trip. By February 2, 2002, we were at it again - on the road to collect autographs across the face of the trading cards (and upon several pieces of special memorabilia along for the ride).
In the midst of our travels, we concurrently built our official "Baseball in Living Color" website - a virtual home for our fabulous "NLB Living Legends" and a place to professionally represent our ongoing effort to fulfill the mission. Our totally original, extremely limited autographed trading card collector sets are now on display and will soon be sold to generate revenue that will be shared with our loyal and faithful participants.
001 of 600 is being packaged with a few very special accompaniments and will be offered to the highest bidder at auction. 002 through 010 will be offered in much the same way in the weeks ahead.