#Shortstops: Color of Diversity
Shearer’s artwork, which is now part of the Hall of Fame’s collection, depicts the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup from Sept. 1, 1971. At first glance, it seems like it was just another regular season matchup against the Phillies. But the Pittsburgh lineup that played in that game held great historical significance: it marked the first time an AL or NL team had fielded an all-Black and Latino starting lineup.
Second baseman Rennie Stennett led off for Pittsburgh, while center fielder Gene Clines batted second, future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell batted third and fourth, catcher Manny Sanguillén batted fifth, third baseman Dave Cash batted sixth, first baseman Al Oliver batted seventh, shortstop Jackie Hernández hit eighth and pitcher Dock Ellis batted in the nine hole.
Pirates Membership Card
Relive your cherished baseball memories and favorite moments from your team with your personalized membership card.
The piece was ultimately accepted, and is now preserved within the Hall of Fame’s archives.
It’s an honor for Shearer to have a piece of his artwork preserved in the Hall of Fame’s collection – but it’s not exactly what he dreamed of when creating the piece. His goal for his piece was simple: Start important conversations.
“Whether you show it on your website, or whether it does get hung on a wall someday – if we could have those conversations and break down this uncomfortableness and awkwardness to ever talk about race; if we could actually have those conversations, then that’s a small win for me,” Shearer said.
Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum