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Baseball Americana Symposium

 Experience the events

Friday and Saturday October 2-3, 2009

Schedule of Events

""Wednesday, September 30, Pre-Symposim Event
Take Me Out to the Library of Congress: The Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, presents Ernie Banks with the Library of Congress Living Legend Award. View the webcast (running time 0:51:55).

""Friday, October 2, Afternoon and Evening Events

(The October 2nd events were not recorded for webcast)

Friday Afternoon

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Baseball Treasures of the Library of Congress: Library of Congress curators displayed items from the collections and answered questions about the Library's baseball treasures including the first baseball image printed in America (1787), the earliest known dated baseball card (1865), and the original 1908 sheet music for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" that was submitted for U.S. copyright, as well as vintage photographs, early Spalding Guides, items from the Branch Rickey collection, and more. (119 Jefferson Building)

2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Appraisals of Baseball Memorabilia: by Frank Ceresi, a leading expert in sports memorabilia appraisals for museums and auction houses. (119 Jefferson Building)

3:00 p.m. Frank Ceresi — Baseball Collectibles and Appraisals.
Frank Ceresi, a leading expert in sports memorabilia appraisals, gave a presentation on baseball artifacts, memorabilia and collectibles. [biography] (119 Jefferson Building)

Friday Evening

""Baseball Americana Highlights Reel
Mumford Room, James Madison Memorial Building, sixth floor.

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Movies and TV are as much a part of American culture as baseball, and they all come together in a special presentation drawn from the Library's motion picture and television archives. Enjoy a night of notable dramatic and comedic scenes that illuminate baseball's integral place in American life, from the silent era to today. (This presentation was not recorded for webcast.)

October 3 Events

""Baseball Americana Symposium
Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, ground floor. (registration required)

Webcast View the webcast of the morning presentations, running time 2:11:23
9:00 - 9:15 a.m.

National anthem, performed by Reverb
Introduction: Dr. Peggy Bulger, American Folklife Center
Welcome: Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress

9:15 - 9:45 Keynote Address: Baseball and the Nation's Library: One Hardball Researcher's Thoughts, Paul Dickson [biography]
9:45 - 10:00 Break
10:00 - 11:30 Panel One: At Home
Even those of us who love a day out at the ballgame probably spend more of our baseball time in and around our homes, with our families, friends and neighbors.  This panel explores the many ways we enjoy baseball at home, from watching it on TV, to following our favorite players and their all-important statistics, to playing baseball, softball and stickball in parks and city streets. 

Moderator: David Taylor, American Folklife Center
Russell Frank, folklorist [biography]
Harry Katz, former head curator of LC Prints & Photographs [biography]
Claire Smith [biography]
11:30 - 1:00 Lunch
Webcast View the webcast of the afternoon presentations, running time 4:00:11
1:00 - 2:30 pm Panel Two: In the Stands
For many Americans, nothing beats a day at the ballpark.  The crack of the bat and the cries of the umpire are only the beginning; we also thrill to the majestic sounds of the organ and the flavors of our beloved peanuts and hot dogs.  This panel looks at the experience of baseball from a seat in the stands.

Moderator: Steve Winick, American Folklife Center
Ed Alstrom, Yankee Stadium organist [biography]
Paul Dickson, baseball dictionary author [biography]
Bruce Kraig, culinary historian and hot dog expert [biography]
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 4:15 Panel Three: On the Field — Play Ball!
Most of us don't get to experience life "behind the scenes" of professional baseball. From the folks who build the parks to the folks who make the bats, a lot of professional expertise goes into setting the scene. Then, when the day comes and the players take the field, the action begins! This panel offers a peek at the many aspects of life on the field, from the field itself, to the equipment, and on to the game.

Moderator: Susan Reyburn, LC Publishing Office [biography]
Murray Cook, Major League Baseball field and stadium consultant [biography]
Larry Dierker, former Astros player, manager, broadcaster [biography]
Jack Hillerich, Louisville Slugger manufacturer [biography]
Mamie Johnson, former Indianapolis Clowns pitcher [biography]
4:15 - 4:30 Seventh-inning Stretch
4:30 - 5:15 Panel Four: On the Field — Let's Play Two! (tm)
Ernie Banks is one of the most beloved figures in baseball history. From his start in the Negro Leagues, he worked his way up to the Major Leagues and the Hall of Fame. With 512 career home runs and a gold glove, the two-time National League MVP and eleven-time all-star was respected at the plate as well as on the field. The first black player on the Chicago Cubs, he was also the first Cub to have his number retired. Through it all, his hard work and sunny disposition made him a favorite with fans, players, and managers alike. His catch phrase was "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame . . . Let's play two!" In this segment, Banks will reflect on his life in baseball.

Interview with Ernie Banks, Hall of Famer, Chicago Cubs [biography]
5:15 - 5:30 Group Sing: "Take me out to the Ball Game."
5:30 Baseball Americana book signing, ground-floor lobby


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