May 25, 2018 (REVISED June 25, 2018) Summer of Baseball to Feature Family Day, Series of Programs with Library's 'Baseball Americana' Exhibition

Library to Host a Family Day Featuring a Vintage Baseball Clinic, Performances and Activities; Screening of ‘Field of Dreams’ to be Presented on the Lawn

Press Contact: Brett Zongker (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Naomi Coquillon, (202) 707-0245
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

This baseball card from 1933 features George Herman (Babe) Ruth. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

A vintage baseball clinic based on the game’s 19th-century rules, a children’s performance about African-American ballplayers, a conversation with “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis and a screening of the popular film “Field of Dreams” will highlight a summer of programs to accompany the new exhibition “Baseball Americana” at the Library of Congress.

Baseball Americana Family Day on Saturday, July 14, will present a daylong series of free baseball-themed events and activities for visitors of all ages. The day will include a vintage baseball clinic based on the rules of the game from the 19th century; “Black Diamond,” a play for children from Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater about some of the game’s first black players; a demonstration on the craft of bat making; and a presentation about the original “Laws of Base Ball” by Major League Baseball’s official historian. All events will take place at the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

The Thomas Jefferson Building is located at 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Follow the conversation on Twitter at @librarycongress, @Events_LOC and #BaseballAmericana.

The Library’s “Baseball Americana” summer programs will include these events:

Conversation with “Moneyball” Author Michael Lewis
Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m.
Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Rob Neyer, former ESPN analyst and author of the forthcoming book “Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game,” will interview best-selling author Michael Lewis about his 2003 book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” and the use of sabermetrics in baseball. Ticketholders will have access to the exhibition “Baseball Americana” between 5 and 7 p.m., before the official public opening on June 29.

Tickets are available for this free event on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site,, for more information and to secure your ticket.

Talking Baseball & America with the Spirit of Studs Terkel
Monday, July 2, at 1 p.m.
Location: Mumford Room, Sixth Floor, James Madison Building 

Filmmaker John Sayles, actor David Strathairn and director Derek Goldman present an afternoon of baseball with "Studs Terkel Radio Archive" representatives Tony Macaluso and Allison Schein Holmes, joined by Matthew Barton, Curator of Recorded Sound at the Library of Congress.

The panelists will celebrate the words and voices of America’s pastime in all its complex glory, from halcyon memories of childhood heroes to the corruption of the Black Sox Scandal. Sayles and Strathairn will reflect on their experience working with Terkel on the film
Eight Men Out (1988), in which Terkel acted, and will interweave that experience with voices from the recently-launched Terkel Radio Archive, and live performances of classic baseball writing. The Studs Terkel Radio Archive is currently undergoing digitization by the Library of Congress, and is managed by the WFMT Radio Network and the Chicago History Museum.

Summer Film Series: “Field of Dreams”
Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m. – Film begins at sunset
Location: Thomas Jefferson Building North Lawn

The Library is presenting an outdoor film festival this summer to showcase several modern classics that have been added to the Library’s National Film Registry. The first in the series will be “Field of Dreams,” the 1989 film starring Kevin Costner as an Iowa farmer who hears a voice telling him to turn a corner of his land into a baseball diamond. “If you build it, he will come,” the voice says. “He” appears to be legendary baseball great Shoeless Joe Jackson and his 1919 Black Sox team.

Registration information for this free event will be announced at a later date.

Inside Baseball: LC Labs Hack-a-thon
Friday, July 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building

The Library’s LC Labs is hosting a weeklong “flashbuild” hack-a-thon July 9-12 to create new digital tools and visualizations for research and exploration of baseball-related collections as data with partners from JSTOR Labs, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and Wikimedia. On Friday, July 13, each of the partner organizations will present on the prototype tools and visualizations they developed during the week. The event will close with a discussion about the role of baseball in American life. During the daylong public program, the Library’s National Digital Initiatives team also will present on other collections as data topics. 

This event will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at and its YouTube site (captioned) at

Tickets are available for this free event on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site,, for more information and to secure your ticket.

Baseball Americana Family Day
Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Thomas Jefferson Building, various locations

The Library presents a day filled with baseball-themed events for visitors of all ages. All events are free, and tickets are available where noted, but are not required. Tours of the “Baseball Americana” exhibition will be available at 10 a.m. and noon. Visit this event ticketing site,, for more information and to secure your ticket. 

10 a.m. - noon Vintage Baseball Clinic
Location: North Lawn, Thomas Jefferson Building
Vintage baseball is baseball played to the rules of play from the 19th century. Join vintage players from the Diamond State Base Ball Club for drop-in instruction on baseball rules from 1864 and opportunities to handle equipment from the period.

10:30 a.m. Baseball Story Time
Location: Whittall Pavilion, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building
The Young Readers Center presents a baseball-themed story time with books, songs and activities for children ages 3 and up.

11 a.m. -11:50 a.m. “Black Diamond:” A Play from Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater
Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building
Follow the struggles and triumphs of pioneering African-American baseball players Moses “Fleet” Walker, who became the game’s first black pro in the 1880s; Andrew “Rube” Foster, hailed as the father of black baseball; power hitter Josh “Spitfire” Gibson; athlete-philosopher Satchel Paige; and a young Jackie Robinson, who first integrated the major leagues. Recommended for ages 5 to 12.

Tickets are available for this free event, but not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site,, for more information and to secure your ticket.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bat-Making Demonstration
Location: Thomas Jefferson Building Terrace
Local batmaker Juan Baret will demonstrate the craft of bat making in an ongoing, drop-in presentation.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. “The Origins of the Modern Game: The Laws of Base Ball”
Location: Whittall Pavilion, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building
John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, will discuss original documents from the landmark 1857 meeting of New York baseball clubs that established the rules of the modern game. Recently rediscovered, the “Laws of Base Ball” manuscripts will be on view in “Baseball Americana” in their first major exhibition.

Tickets are available for this free event on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site,, for more information and to secure your ticket.

Webinar: Batter Up! Baseball at the Library of Congress
Tuesday, July 31, 2:30 p.m.
Online at
The Library’s rich and unique holdings include many items that document the history of baseball and Americans' fascination with the game. Through photographs, baseball cards, official games guides, newspaper reportage, scouting reports, films and memorabilia—much of which is now available online—the Library's collections offer a firsthand look at the development and growth of baseball from the 19th through the mid-20th centuries. Join librarians from the Researcher and Reference Services Division for a free online webinar that explores the history of America’s favorite pastime through the digital collections.

Gallery Talk
These 30-minute talks are led by Library staff and highlight selected items on display in the “Baseball Americana” gallery. All talks take place inside the exhibition, South Gallery, Second Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building. No tickets or reservations are required.

Baseball Cards at the Library of Congress
Friday, July 6, at 11 a.m.
Peter Devereaux, author of the forthcoming book “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress,” will discuss the Library’s collection of baseball cards from 1887 to 1914 and the insights they provide on the players and the game at the turn of the 20th century.

Baseball Before the Civil War
Friday, July 20, at 11 a.m.
Americans transformed European bat-and-ball games into a complex, organized and increasingly competitive endeavor that in 1856 was declared the “National Pastime” by the New York Mercury. “Baseball Americana” exhibition curator Susan Reyburn will discuss baseball’s early days and the development of the modern game.

Public tours of the exhibition will be available Wednesdays through Fridays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. Reserved tours for groups of 10 or more can be arranged by emailing [email protected].

These programs and the exhibition are made possible by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund, the James Madison Council and Democracy Fund.

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PR 18-074
ISSN 0731-3527