Bronx Children’s Museum unveils ‘Legendary Yankees’ murals featuring Black baseball players

The joy in the air was palpable along Exterior Street as baseball legends gathered for the unveiling of “Legendary Yankees,” a trio of murals dedicated to living, Black baseball players.
Young Hunter Mayrena, 10, from Brooklyn, was out with his father celebrating the unveiling of “Exhibiting Possibilities: Legendary Yankees” along Exterior Street on Wednesday, April 24.
Photo ET Rodriguez

The joy in the air was palpable along Exterior Street on Wednesday, April 24, as Major League Baseball legends gathered for the unveiling of “Legendary Yankees,” also known as “Play in Color,” a trio of murals dedicated to living, Black baseball players.

The artwork is the first of many as part of the Bronx Children’s Museum’s “Exhibiting Possibilities” project, in partnership with the Bronx Terminal Market, the New York Yankees and The Players Alliance, an organization dedicated to highlighting Black talent while fighting systemic barriers in baseball.

“The purpose of what Exhibiting Possibilities means is that we want children to know that your dreams are reasonable and they’re going to happen,” said Denise Rosario Adusei, executive director of the museum. “And these men are all examples of that,” she added while gesturing to the crowd of baseball VIPs sitting in the audience.

Aaron Judge and C.C Sabathia smile as their portraits are unveiled as part of “Exhibiting Possibilities: Legendary Yankees.”Photo ET Rodriguez
The moment of unveiling for the mural of Willie Randolph and hall-of-famer Reggie Jackson by André Trenier.Photo ET Rodriguez

Painted by Bronx native and neighborhood muralist, André Trenier, “Legendary Yankees” captures the idiosyncrasies of the players in their prime. Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Willie Randolph, Derek Jeter, C.C. Sabathia and Aaron Judge, are now all immortalized in spray paint just a few blocks south of Yankee Stadium. The mural stresses the importance of giving those their laurels while they are still alive to receive them. Sabathia and Judge giggled like schoolboys when they saw their portraits, perhaps because Trenier did such a thoughtful job on capturing their gap-toothed and gummy smiles.

Raised in Kingsbridge, Trenier was born to a frustrated artist of a mother who poured her dreams into him, always buying him art supplies and comic books. What resulted was a prolific muralist and current artist-in-residence at the Andrew Freedman Home who has a long-standing relationship with the community and the Bronx Children’s Museum.

Left: Muralist, André Trenier; retired major-leaguer, Dave Winfield and Curtis Granderson, former professional baseball player and president of the board for The Players Alliance.Photo ET Rodriguez
Dave Winfield autographs baseballs at the unveiling of his portrait alongside other baseball greats along Exterior Street on Wednesday, April 24.Photo ET Rodriguez

Aside from the celebrity and media frenzy, there were several kids in attendance. Members of all ages from the International Baseball Little League received T-shirts and lessons from The Players Alliance lab.

Inside the trailer, Ellison Hanna, former amateur player and mentor, taught the young athletes how to properly use equipment, from how to hold a bat to making sure the glove fits.

Coming in on almost a year with the Alliance, Hanna works with an ROR = ROI method (representation, opportunity and resources equals a return on investment).

“The more people that look like the people that are underserved and are looking for an opportunity, the higher the chance is for kids to feel empowered to accomplish the things they see others doing,” said Hanna.

The population of the Bronx is more than half Black and brown and the poorest county in the state, emphasizing the value of programs that focus on a method like Hanna’s.

Mural of former Yankees, Dave Winfield and Derek Jeter as part of “Exhibiting Possibilities: Legendary Yankees.”Photo ET Rodriguez

At the unveiling, 11-year-old, Armani Hurtado asked CC Sabathia who his favorite teammate was to which the former Yankee responded, “Derek Jeter.” The kid also got a handshake from Judge leaving him with a sparkle in his eye that would not soon fade.

“You never know when you’re going to have a group of young kids who just need an opportunity,” said legendary Yankees player and coach Willie Randolph. “It’s really just about passing it on to the next generation and being thankful for being able to inspire them.”

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