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Hispanic Baseball Exhibition in Cheyenne

May 21, 2009 — The University of Wyoming's Chicano Studies Program is a sponsor of "Sugar Beet Fields to Fields of Dreams," an exhibition about the Rocky Mountain League of the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress on display at the Cheyenne Civic Center through May.

Known as the "sugar beet league" for its start among Hispanic agricultural workers in the Rocky Mountain region, the league began in the 1920s and quickly spread throughout northern Colorado and southeast Wyoming. Cheyenne, Laramie, Lusk, Torrington and Pine Bluffs all had league teams.

"Mexican baseball teams helped solidify Chicano communities during the 20th century," says Ed Munoz, Chicano Studies Program director at UW. "They provided a break from hard work in the fields or on the railroad, and they also served as social and political outlets for the players and their fans."

Exhibition curators Gabe and Jody Lopez of Greeley, Colo., have scoured the sports sections of old newspapers and have interviewed nearly 80 former players.

"This is an important public history project," says Jenny Ingram of the Wyoming Humanities Council, another exhibition sponsor. "Gabe and Jody are collecting a remarkable set of stories that have great significance for the Rocky Mountain region."

"We invite the players and their families to the exhibit to relive their playing days," says Gabe Lopez. "We want to hear their stories."

The 1943 Cheyenne Lobos played in the Rocky Mountain League.

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009

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