The World Series may have wrapped up at the end of October, but that doesn’t mean baseball has to take a back seat until major league teams report for spring training or Lehigh’s season gets under way in February.
For the next month, baseball enthusiasts can still get their fill of the sport by visiting “Batting Around America’s Pastime: The Cultural Impact of Baseball” at Linderman Library. The exhibit examines baseball’s part in shaping America’s identity and touches upon the history of the game both throughout the country and at Lehigh.
The idea for the exhibit was born after a book collection of Ralph S. Graber ‘46, ‘48G was recently donated. The collection of juvenile fiction books about baseball, passed along by Graber’s widow T. Lorraine Graber, was noticed by Humanities Librarian Heather Simoneau and she recognized the potential they held for an exhibition.
Included in the exhibit are artifacts, such as hats, jerseys, bats, baseballs and gloves, from Lehigh teams dating to 1885. A number of team photographs are on display as well.
Among the books and Lehigh treasures is a signed letter by Babe Ruth. There are also displays for baseball movies and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Display cases for Negro League Baseball and Women in Baseball include the issues of race and gender in the exhibit, which both played major roles in shaping the sport.
Items on display have either been drawn from Lehigh’s Special Collections or are on loan from Lehigh’s Athletics Department.
In addition to the exhibit, Geoff Gehman '89 M.A., journalist and author, will hold a free talk—Shoeless Joe, the Babe & the Steel: The Highly Unlikely 1918 Bethlehem Steel League— Nov. 29 from noon to 1 p.m. in Linderman Library, Room 200. Guided tours will be held at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m.
The exhibition’s cases are located on the ground, first and third floors of the library and will be on display until Dec. 18, 2018.