Baltimore would become home to the first East Coast museum devoted to Negro League baseball teams and players, under a $4.1 million plan that has been approved by the Dixon administration.
The plan calls for redeveloping Pennsylvania Avenue’s historic Sphinx Club and adjacent properties with a sports-themed museum, entertainment and dining complex designed to draw tourists and help rejuvenate the corridor.
The largest part of the project would be a three-story BALL House museum, which stands for Black Athletes and Lost Legends, at the northeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Bloom Street. The museum would contain displays about Negro League teams that played before major league baseball admitted African-Americans, including the Baltimore Elite Giants, as well as interactive exhibits such as a batting cage.
The museum would be connected to the Negro League Cafe at the Sphinx Club, a sports bar, restaurant and performance venue that would be created inside the once-vibrant Sphinx Club at 2105-07 Pennsylvania Ave. Planned by restaurateur Donald Curry, the cafe would feature autographed baseballs, photos and related Negro League memorabilia and host performances by jazz musicians and other entertainers.