Negro Leagues Memorial (2005)

by Phil Sumpter (1930 - )

Photo Caption: Photo Alec Rogers © 2017 for the Association for Public Art
  • Title

    Negro Leagues Memorial

  • Artist

    Phil Sumpter (1930 - )

  • Year

    2005

  • Location

    Southwest Corner of Belmont and Parkside Avenues

  • Medium

    Bronze, on stone base

  • Dimensions

    Height 7'

  • Themes

    Black and African American Themes and Artists

Commissioned by the Business Association of West Parkside

Owned by the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Phillies

At A Glance

  • Commemorates Negro League baseball, particularly the Philadelphia Stars, which played in a nearby field

  • Sumpter’s 7-foot bronze centerpiece of a Negro League baseball player is accompanied by benches, landscaping, and a wood fence

  • The memorial was unveiled and dedicated at Veterans Stadium by five living players of the Philadelphia Stars

The Negro Leagues Memorial commemorates Negro League baseball, particularly the Philadelphia Stars, which played in a nearby field and in numerous Negro Leagues from 1933-1952. Behind artist Phil Sumpter’s 7-foot bronze centerpiece of a Negro Leagues player, commissioned by the Business Association of West Parkside, a granite wall is inscribed with the names of Philadelphia Stars players and other great teams of the Negro Leagues. The memorial, which includes benches, landscaping, and a wood fence, began as a project of the Business Association of West Parkside, and soon garnered support from other organizations, including the Phillies.

Negro Leagues Memorial
Photo Caitlin Martin © 2014 for the Association for Public Art

In 2003, Sumpter’s bronze statue was unveiled and dedicated at Veterans Stadium by five living players of the Philadelphia Stars – Bill Cash, Mahlon Duckett, Stanley Glenn, Harold Gould, and Wilmer Harris – as well as All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies kept the sculpture on display at the stadium for 30 days, and the Business Association of West Parkside led a coalition to fundraise and build a memorial park. The statue was placed on its pedestal in the Negro Leagues Memorial on April 15, 2005. An African American artist and Philadelphian, Phil Sumpter has created many works that commemorate African American historical figures, including his statue of Judy Johnson at Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium.

 

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