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World Bank President Eugene Black Attends Washington Baseball Games with Staff

With summer here and baseball season in full swing, the Archives highlights an annual tradition that took place under Eugene Black, the 3rd President of the World Bank Group. In 1949, when Black became President, the Bank was a small organization: its mission only vaguely understood and its future path uncertain. This gave Black the opportunity to make an impact on its development, as well as become more involved in the Bank’s social events. In addition to knowing nearly all staff members by name, Black rarely missed an annual picnic, Christmas party or bowling tournament. He also created an annual event of his own: The Father and Son Baseball Party.

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Attendees look over their programs to find their favorite players The Bank provided buses to transport the group across the city to the stadium Eugene Black and others inspect the novelty baseball bats that they received

Though relatively small in 1949, the Bank staff, and its Board of Executive Directors, was very diverse. The Board was composed of thirteen Executive Directors, each of a different nationality, and together represented more than 50 countries. In order to provide this group with a team building, and quintessentially American, experience Black invited the Board of Directors and their sons to celebrate summer at a Washington Senators' baseball game.

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This event occurred first in 1950, and once a summer the World Bank Fathers and Sons would be bused to RFK Stadium for an evening of basball, food and fun. Eventually the group expanded to include not only the Executive Directors but senior staff as well. By the end of the tradition in 1962, it had grown to include a pre-game buffet in the stadium and an attendance of more than 100 people of a dozen nationalities.

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