Photos, posters, books, baseball jerseys, and other memorabilia of the Negro Baseball Leagues will be on display through February for Black History Month at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale.
The Friends of Baseball exhibit at the center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., opens at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 with a reception featuring three speakers: baseball veteran Dr. Jorge Arenas-Chico, baseball author Sam Zyngner and former Florida Marlin Alex Arias.
Born in Cuba, Arenas-Chico fled to the United States with his family at age 15. His father had been a famous baseball player and hospital administrator in Cuba. Chico left high school his senior year to pursue a professional baseball career with the Washington Senators. He played in the Major Leagues 1960-61. Guaranteed college tuition was part of his contract to the ball club, and he attended many different colleges before graduating. He finished medical school in Cincinnati and completed his residency in Miami. Currently, he is a Community Health Coordinator at Broward Health, one of the 10 largest health systems in the United States.
Author Sam Zygner was born in Huntington, W. Va., and grew up in Pittsburgh. He introduced his book, The Forgotten Marlins, in August 2013 at the National Society for American Baseball Research Convention in Philadelphia. He has served as the chairperson for the South Florida Chapter of SABR since 2007 and has been a member since 1997.
Former Florida Marlin Alex Arias was born in New York City in 1967. He was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 12, 1992, with the Chicago Cubs. He spent five seasons with the Florida Marlins from 1993 to 1997.