Batter up! Baseball exhibit opens next week at Ohr-O’Keefe

South Mississippi’s long and enduring love affair with baseball is the subject of a new six-month multi-media exhibit and luncheon series opening May 10 at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi.

The exhibition, titled “Our Love Affair with Baseball,” will shine a spotlight on locals who have been involved with major league baseball, trace the days when Biloxi hosted spring training for Major League teams, chronicle the Biloxi Shuckers rousing inaugural season, and tell story of the Biloxi Dodgers, the storied semi-professional team that played in an all-Negro league but eventually began inviting white players to participate.

Among the items that will be on display: six World Series rings owned by longtime scout and Biloxi native Lee “Peter Roy” Elder of the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees; the glove that Ron Swoboda of the “amazing Mets” used for his miraculous catch in the 1969 World Series; a newly created short video about the Biloxi Dodgers; and uniforms from colleges throughout the state.

A host of major league all-stars – including Darryl Strawberry, Dale Murphy and others – will join a lineup of historians and baseball authorities each Friday at the museum in the Sal & Mookie’s All-Star Luncheon series.

The exhibit also will feature a host of special events over six months, along with Shuckers tie-ins, and is supported by nearly a quarter-million dollars in advertising and promotion.

“Our Love Affair with Baseball” is a follow-up to the Ohr-O’Keefe’s hugely successful “Katrina +10” presentation, which attracted 40,000 visitors and a wealth of media coverage over its six-month run.

“Baseball is America’s pastime, and it’s never been more popular than it is today on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said former major leaguer Barry Lyons, whose vision 20 years ago helped lead to the construction of MGM Park and the arrival of the minor league Biloxi Shuckers.

“People who visit this exhibit will see genuine artifacts, never-before-seen photographs, and interactive video presentations that will tell our amazing story,” Lyons said, “and it’s a great story. You’ll be able to hear firsthand accounts from the people who were in the big leagues and people who know the history of college and major league baseball in Mississippi.”

As guest curator for “Our Love Affair with Biloxi,” Lyons assembled the lineup of weekly speakers for the luncheon series and he also influenced the overall exhibit, which will encompass much of the gallery space on the five-acre Ohr campus.
Learn more about the exhibit and luncheon series