Upham's Corner Online

Black Baseball Mural in Upham's Corner

Posted: February 26, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

On February 19, 2011 the Grove Hall Library scheduled Bijan C. Bayne to talk about the "The History of Negro Baseball in Boston."  He had to cancel and at the last minute Dr. Robert Cvornyek rom Rhode Island College accepted the position of "pinch hitter."  The attendees all laughed at the contextually perfect  title given to Dr. Cvornyek stemming from his kindness in agreeing to come up to Boston at the last minute. 

What a terrific get-together.  Bob is two years away from publishing an in-depth look at "Colored" baseball in Boston from 1878 to the 1960's.  He is deep in research which is not easy because the "whys" and "wherefores" of baseball team formation and dissolution is not well documented.

At one point we brought up the baseball mural in Upham's Corner.  Dr. Cvornyek was quick to point out what many of us fail to understand.  Black (colored) baseball in New England is barely associated with the Negro Leagues that most of us are at least somewhat familiar.  He is such a fan of regional baseball history that he feels we Bostonians MUST pay special homage to our own colored baseball history. 

We eagerly await his book forthcoming in a couple years.  Dr. Cvornyek is interested in hearing from anyone whose relatives were participants in the colored leagues here in Boston or elsewhere in New England.

The Negro National League 1920-1968


The Negro National League baseball mural is in Upham's Corner, at the intersection of Dudley and Columbia Rd.  It was painted on the side of the building that now houses MAPS (MA Alliance of Portuguese Speakers).  The closing date of 1968 may be incorrect as it is not legible from the photograph.

You can see from the aerial view that the mural is on a wall that cannot be seen from Columbia Road nor from Stoughton Street.  If you are paying attention, you might notice it if you are on Dudley Street traveling east, but probably not.  Click the aerial view to enlarge.

At the top of the mural are the "signatures"  and at the bottom of the mural are the credits:  "This mural was painted by Artists for Humanity, generously sponsored by Fleet Bank."  Photos below highlight these sections.

If you look at the bottom photos, you will see the mural paint lying on the ground.  When this mural was painted we don't know, but you can tell that it was spectacular.  It is time for the mural to be repainted. 

Black Baseball Mural
Click to enlarge
Black Baseball Mural
If you're driving east on Dudley Street and waiting for a light,
you might happen to notice the mural.
Black Baseball Mural
The mural is pretty well obscured by its location
and the angle of the wall


Black Baseball Mural
Looking straight on from the parking lot.

Black Baseball Mural
Black Baseball Mural

Black Baseball Mural
The game roster
Black Baseball Mural
"Signature" section of the mural
Black Baseball Mural Black Baseball Mural
Black Baseball Mural
Panorama of the photos below
Black Baseball Mural Black Baseball Mural
Black Baseball Mural Black Baseball Mural



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