Posted on: May 8, 2013 -- Last updated on: Aug 22, 2013
Swingin' with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong & Baseball includes Louis’s handwritten list of “my four choice Dodger players at all times,” a photo of Louis backstage with Dodgers Don Newcombe and Junior Gilliam, a rare Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald “baseball card” from Holland, and one of Louis’s famed tape box collages featuring a photo of the trumpeter with New York Yankees Phil Rizzuto and Joe Collins.
The exhibit contains information about Louis’s “Secret 9” baseball team. In the summer of 1931, Louis returned to New Orleans for the first time since leaving it for Chicago in 1922. While there, Armstrong 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9, an advertisement for one of their games taken from one of Louis’s oldest scrapbooks, and a humorous excerpt from an unpublished 1955 manuscript in which Armstrong details how the players were so proud of their new uniforms that they refused to slide and lost every game!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, this exhibit features Louis’s connections to the Yankees, namely through his manager, Joe Glaser, who was a legendary Yankee fan who attended nearly every home game. When Louis 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 Louis in Yogi’s mask!
The exhibit is free with museum admission.
Thanks to the vision and funding of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes visitors from all over the world, six days per week, 52 weeks per year.
Photo courtesy of the Jack Bradely Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum.