We got the gun

DiFranza_90.jpgBy Lenny DiFranza

We just received a pitch-speed gun used by one of baseball’s most famous scouts, Ralph Avila, the Cuban who revolutionized scouting and training in the Dominican Republic for the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting in the 1970s. Avila also opened the Majors’ first Dominican baseball academy, Campo las Palmas.

3-19-09-DiFranza_Gun.jpgWe will include this great artifact in our upcoming exhibit on the history of Latin baseball, Viva Baseball! When Avila heard that we were working on this new exhibit, he sent us a box of artifacts from his career.

These items will help us tell the story of the role of the Dominican baseball academies, which led to the dramatic increase in Dominican players in the Majors and pro baseball in general.

Viva Baseball! is scheduled to open May 23, 2009. It will include a wide variety of artifacts from the U.S. to the Caribbean, ballparks to front offices, and from the 19th century to the present.

Lenny DiFranza is the assistant curator for new media at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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