The Louis Armstrong House Museum has introduced an new exhibit titled “Swinging with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong & Baseball” that includes photos and artifacts exploring Armstrong’s relationship with the game including his handwritten list of “my four choice Dodger players at all times,” a photo of Armstrong backstage with Dodgers Don Newcombe and Junior Gilliam, a rare Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald “baseball card” from Holland, and one of Armstrong’s famed tape box collages featuring a photo of the trumpeter with New York Yankees Phil Rizzuto and Joe Collins.
The exhibit will also contain information about Armstrong’s “Secret 9” baseball team.
In the summer of 1931, Armstrong returned to New Orleans for the first time since leaving it for Chicago in 1922. While there, he took interest in a sandlot team, bought them brand new equipment and uniforms and renamed them “Armstrong’s Secret 9.”
The exhibit will include a photo of the Secret 9, an advertisement for one of their games taken from one of Armstrong’s oldest scrapbooks, and a humorous excerpt from an unpublished 1955 manuscript in which he details how the players were so proud of their new uniforms that they refused to slide and lost every game!
Though a Mets and Dodgers fan, the new exhibit will also feature Armstrong’s connections to the Yankees, namely through his manager, Joe Glaser, who was a legendary Yankee fan who attended nearly every home game. When Armstrong was mobbed by fans during a tour of Buenos Aires in 1957, he asked Glaser to have Yogi Berra send a catcher’s mask to protect his “chops.”
“Swingin’ with the All Stars” includes a photo of Armstrong in Yogi’s mask!
The exhibit will be on exhibit now through Aug. 31st and is free with museum admission. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is just seven blocks away from Citi Field, home of the 2013 All Star Game!
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, . The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m. Travel directions and more at www.LouisArmstrongHouse.org or 718.478.8274.
Parking is available in the neighborhood and the museum is accessible by subway via the 7 train.
Admission is $10, $7 for seniors, students and children and free LAHM members and children under four. Groups with reservations enjoy a discount on admission. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is closed on all Mondays and the following Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It is always open on the 4th of July, in honor of Louis’s traditional birthday.