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Confronting Barriers - Skin Color


Pedro "Perucho" Cepeda won the first two Puerto Rican Winter League batting titles (1938 and 1939 seasons) and dominated play in his native country for more than 20 years. Perucho played his whole career in the Caribbean, opting not to experience the intolerance prevalent in the U.S.

A 1931 Puerto Rican amateur league trophy won by the Juncos Stars and given to team member Perucho Cepeda, father of Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda

One of the first Puerto Ricans to play in the Negro leagues, Emilio "Millito" Navarro threw this ball for a ceremonial first pitch on September 18, 2008, "Emilio Navarro Appreciation Night" at Yankee Stadium, in celebration of his 103rd birthday.

Many African-American ballplayers left the U.S. to play in the relatively unsegregated environment typical of Caribbean ball, a stark contrast to the "Jim Crow" atmosphere present at home.

"I've found freedom and democracy here, something I never found in the United States... Here in Mexico, I am a man!" - Negro league star shortstop Willie Wells, 1944

Winter ball contract signed by Puerto Rican legend Vic Power in 1955, one of the many years he returned to play in the Caribbean