Mr. Mayer will offer a PowerPoint presentation and an exhibit of historical photos and baseball memorabilia. He will discuss some of the early African Americans who played in white professional baseball, and the “gentleman’s agreement” which ultimately forced them to develop their own Barnstorming teams and Negro Leagues. Some of the activity here in the Hudson Valley will be included.
With a passion for baseball history and a player himself on tournament softball teams, Mr. Mayer has been connected to the sport for more than 50 years. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and their 19th Century Baseball, Negro Leagues, and Minor League Committees. His primary interest is early baseball in the Hudson Valley.
Mr. Mayer has presented programs at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and at numerous sports museums, libraries, and historical societies. In January 2013 he presented “Baseball in Black & White” (Black Barnstorming in the Hudson Valley) in conjunction with the Hall of Fame’s traveling Pride & Passion Exhibit at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie, NY.
He has been interviewed on several cable TV and local radio stations, and was the producer of the Old Timers Baseball Celebration in Peekskill in 2012. An avid baseball artifact collector, Mr. Mayer has a unique collection of early photographs, trophies, uniforms, gloves and pre-1900 presentation bats. Items from his collection (depicting New York baseball from 1947-57) were included in the Glory Days of Baseball exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York and on display at the Yorktown Museum from May through October 2012.
He has owned and managed Spring Fever, a vintage baseball memorabilia company for 20 years. He is currently a Trustee of the Peekskill Museum and is on the board of the Middletown (NY) Historical Society. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Adelphi University, and spent 36 years in finance and strategic planning at Bankers Trust and JPMorgan Chase before retiring in 2005.
A native of Mount Vernon, he and his wife Adelyn have been residents of Putnam Valley since