Save the date! 2020 SABR Jerry Malloy Conference in Birmingham to celebrate 100 years of the Negro Leagues

Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference

By Larry Lester

One hundred years ago, the Negro National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NNL) was established as a viable option for professional Black athletes barred from the all-White major leagues to showcase their talents. In 2020, SABR’s Negro Leagues Research Committee will celebrate their pleasure, passion, and purpose-driven path to athletic glory and honor with a centennial celebration at the SABR Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, which will be held on June 11-13, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama.

NNL founder Rube Foster’s mantra of “We Are The Ship … All Else The Sea” spoke to their exclusion from Major League Baseball. Their struggles became our successes as Black baseball exploded in popularity and became an integral part of baseball Americana. This is your opportunity to honor the triumphs and accomplishments of men and women who paved the way to integrate our national game.

The Malloy Conference promotes activities to enhance scholarly, educational, and literary objectives. Since 1998, the event has been the only symposium dedicated exclusively to the examination and promotion of Black baseball history. The conference is open to baseball and history fans of all ages. Each year, monies are targeted to donate books to schools or libraries; raise funds for the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project; and award scholarships to high school seniors in a nationwide essay contest and an annual art contest.

The Negro Leagues Committee is one of SABR’s original committees, formed in 1971. It has continued to preserve and highlight the contributions of African-American players in baseball history. The committee published the landmark The Negro Leagues Book in 1994, which featured a complete register of more than 3,000 players, team rosters and in-depth histories from leagues of the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth.

Check back at soon for registration and hotel information for the 2020 Malloy Conference. We hope to see you in Birmingham!

LARRY LESTER is the chair of SABR’s Negro Leagues Research Conference and the author of many books and articles on Black baseball history. He can be reached at

Originally published: October 31, 2019. Last Updated: October 31, 2019.