OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Hundreds attended today's grand opening of the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro League Baseball.
Simmons, the museum’s namesake, played for the legendary Baltimore Elite Giants in the 1950's.
“I think it's special not just for myself and not just for the memory of my husband because it focuses on a time in our history that this museum has a real mission for when it comes to young people,” said Audrey Simmons, Hubert’s widow.
Among those honored were Doc. Bryon of the Tuskegee Airmen, former Negro League players Luther Atkinson and Mamie "Peanut" Johnson one of only three women to play in the Negro Leagues has the second floor of the three-floor museum dedicated to women ball players.
The Museum, previously operating under the name Negro Leagues Baseball Museum of Maryland, Inc., had been housed in various temporary locations since 1996 until the County offered to give it a permanent home in the new library.
The museum has three floors of Negro League memorabilia, including lots of black and white photographs, the Leon Day Hall of Fame trophy and classic films for students of all ages to watch.
Simmons' longtime friend Ray Banks carries that message.
“I’m sure Mr. Simmons is looking down on us with all kinds of smiles…” Banks said. “Thisis what he wanted, this is what we have for him and I will continue to do this as long as I live in memory of him; teaching and talking about Negro League baseball.”
The museum is located in the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and is open to the public.