The Great American Pastime: Homage to Jackie Robinson I
North America, American, Alabama
110 1/2 in. x 78 1/2 in. (280.67 cm x 199.39 cm)
Medium and Support:
Cotton, cotton/polyester blend, and plastic buttons
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase and Gift of Carolyn and Dr. Alfred J. Newman, Jr.
© Yvonne Wells
The subject of this quilt is the well-known African-American baseball player, Jackie Robinson. One night when Wells was at home listening to her radio, she heard the announcer say that that year, 1997, was the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s being accepted into the Big Leagues (that is, Major League Baseball in the United States). His acceptance into an all-white baseball league was a major societal event heralding later American racial integration and the Civil Rights Movement. The quilt features two baseball teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers, for which Robinson played, and their opponents, the all-stars. Jackie Robinson is the largest figure on the quilt in order to emphasize his importance. Each baseball player on the field wears a uniform, and is shown in a different position. Also placed on the quilt are fans located on bleachers, ads representing the baseball sponsors, and hotdogs and apple pie to represent the all-American food usually found at a baseball game. This quilt is typical of Wells’ other works in that it speaks to a moment in history that she felt needed to be recorded.