Mound Magician, 1997
At the center of the fan-shaped baseball diamond and marking the pitcher's mound, the number "25" is emblazoned on a star. The number belongs to Satchel Paige, the legendary pitcher who led the Kansas City Monarchs to five Negro League pennants, joined the major leagues and was the first player from the Negro Leagues to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Mound Magician is rich with symbolism: vintage photographs of Negro League baseball, references to African countries and southern American cities, footprints running the bases, stamped arabesque patterns associated with Bailey's grandfather's wrought iron workshop, black baseballs, and vèvè, Voodoo symbols of ceremonial space. This assemblage also includes wrapped packets of "medicines" inspired by traditional African "power objects," sculptures to which various combinations of materials are added. These empowering substances are believed to positively affect the outcome of specific events.