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First time display of Negro League bat commemorates Black History Month

(Louisville, KY) February 15th, 2012 – To celebrate Black History Month, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will host a special exhibit and tribute to Negro League legend and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee George “Mule” Suttles beginning Wednesday, February 15th. 

The exhibit is highlighted by a baseball bat once used by Suttles and marks the first time the museum has displayed a game-used Negro League bat, which is on loan from a private collector. The special exhibit will be up through March 31. 

“We are so proud to share this inspiring and rare piece of baseball and American history,” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “A few years ago Louisville Slugger discovered definitive proof that we made bats for Negro League players, and now for the first time ever we can share one of these scarce artifacts from that era.”

The bat is an S128 model, the first model made for Suttles, and was used when he played for the Newark Eagles. Markings on the bat indicate the rare piece was returned to the factory on July 3, 1937 – a date that corresponds with factory archives. The original bat order record verifying the bat will also be included in the exhibit.

Known as one of the greatest hitters of the Negro League, Suttles played 21 seasons for the Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars, Chicago American Giants and Newark Eagles. Nicknamed “Mule” because of his strength, Suttles began his career in 1918 when he was just 17 years old. Suttles was a hard-hitting first baseman and outfielder who was acclaimed as one of the best players in Negro League history and may have hit more home runs than Josh Gibson.

About Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory:
Experience history-in-the-making as you stroll through the factory where world-famous Louisville Slugger bats are created. Award-winning factory tour, interactive exhibits, historic memorabilia, the World's Biggest Bat, and more. Create a Louisville Slugger bat with your very own name on it, just like the pros. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, 800 West Main Street, is open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sundays 12 noon – 5 p.m.  Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+), $6 children (6-12), and free for children 5 and under.

About Museum Row on Main
Museum Row on Main is a partnership of nine unique downtown Louisville attractions, each offering one-of-a-kind visitor experiences to families, groups, and individuals – local and out-of-market. Unlike other Louisville attractions and entertainment options, Museum Row on Main provides guests of all ages with eclectic, educational, entertaining, and memorable experiences within easy walking distance of each other.

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