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Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | I just read your piece on Kadir Nelson and couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, he is one of the world’s most prolific, young artist and the museum is proud to own six of his breathtaking Negro Leagues works (four donated by John Moores). We are also quite honored to have 28 of the original pieces used to illustrate the book on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and are working with Kadir to create a national traveling exhibition of the works.
Not to be overlooked was the magnificent writing that accompanied the art. Kadir brings the story to life using a vernacular that made you feel as if you were seated at the feet of your grandpa, spellbound, listening to him tell stories.
As a matter of fact, I could hear the voice of the late Buck O’Neil, one of the game’s greatest story tellers, as I read the pages of the book. O’Neil, who was a big fan of Kadir’s, and the rest of the more than 2,600 who played in Negro Leagues, would most assuredly “tip their cap” for the pride and passion exhibited by Kadir in the handling of their courageous and inspiring story.
The Negro Leagues serve as a poignant reminder of the power of the human spirit and Kadir, with this remarkable body of work, captures that with eloquence and great respect. His works dazzle like the speed of a Satchel Paige fastball and strike a chord with the thunderous might of Josh Gibson. I certainly hope San Diegans are as proud of this young man as we are in Kansas City.
Bob Kendrick is the director of marketing for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.