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Sports exhibit hits home for athletes, fans alike


Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” – a collaboration among the Smithsonian Institution, the World of Little League Museum and Penn College – kicked off a 10-week local engagement Sunday with a public reception on the first floor of Madigan Library. The engaging showcase is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, which enlists rural partners in hosting traveling exhibits. In addition to items reflecting the pervasive influence that athletics has on American society, “Hometown Teams” aptly includes representative pieces from collections within the community, some of which have never been displayed publicity. Members of the Historical Organizations of Lycoming County, schools, individuals and groups are among those lending artifacts for the exhibit, which runs through Sept. 8. Among those attending the official opening was Morgan Parrish, reporter for WBRE/WYOU, whose coverage aired during Sunday evening’s newscasts.

– Photos by Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday

An entryway display case amplifies the "hometown" message through memorabilia that honors a sampling of local sports figures: baseball's Mike Mussina and Tom O'Malley, basketball's Alize Johnson and Kelly Mazzante, football's Gary Brown, and Special Olympics athletes.
An entryway display case amplifies the “hometown” message through memorabilia that honors a sampling of local sports figures: baseball’s Mike Mussina and Tom O’Malley, basketball’s Alize Johnson and Kelly Mazzante, football’s Gary Brown, and Special Olympics athletes.

Library director Tracey Amey is interviewed by Eyewitness News' Morgan Parrish.
Library director Tracey Amey is interviewed by Eyewitness News’ Morgan Parrish.

Visitors are greeted by an autographed painting of Larry M. Kelley, a 1932 graduate of Williamsport Area High School, who – as an All-American captain of the Yale University football team – was the first college player to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
Visitors are greeted by an autographed painting of Larry M. Kelley, a 1932 graduate of Williamsport Area High School, who – as an All-American captain of the Yale University football team – was the first college player to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

The Smithsonian's contribution includes such interactive exhibits as trivia questions on stadium seat cushions ...
The Smithsonian’s contribution includes such interactive exhibits as trivia questions on stadium seat cushions …

... that flip up to reveal the answers. (In this case, President William Howard Taft in 1910.)
… that flip up to reveal the answers. (In this case, President William Howard Taft in 1910.)

The day's keynote speaker was Aaron Keller, of Wapwallopen, who won several medals – including a gold in the 10K race – at the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Abu Dhabi. The Luzerne Countian inspired attendees in his brief remarks, noting that the competition's hosts in the United Arab Emirates consider the Special Olympians to be "determined" rather than "disabled."
The day’s keynote speaker was Aaron Keller, of Wapwallopen, who won several medals – including a gold in the 10K race – at the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Abu Dhabi. The Luzerne Countian inspired attendees in his brief remarks, noting that the competition’s hosts in the United Arab Emirates consider the Special Olympians to be “determined” rather than “disabled.”

One of the locally curated displays includes mementos from the international triumphs of Keller and other members of Pennsylvania's Special Olympics contingent.
One of the locally curated displays includes mementos from the international triumphs of Keller and other members of Pennsylvania’s Special Olympics contingent.

A Major League Baseball landmark for more than a century, Chicago's Wrigley Field is depicted in a tableau that invites fans to look through a viewer at stereoscopic pictures of America's great stadiums.
A Major League Baseball landmark for more than a century, Chicago’s Wrigley Field is depicted in a tableau that invites fans to look through a viewer at stereoscopic pictures of America’s great stadiums.

Janice L. Ogurcak, director of public programming and outreach for the World of Little League, invites guests to the museum in South Williamsport and thanks the broader community for sharing cherished items for the public's enjoyment.
Janice L. Ogurcak, director of public programming and outreach for the World of Little League, invites guests to the museum in South Williamsport and thanks the broader community for sharing cherished items for the public’s enjoyment.

Decades of auto racing on the Hughesville Fairgrounds' dirt track is noted in this photo of Ted Horn, remembered as one of the best drivers to never win the Indianapolis 500 (despite 10 straight finishes in the top four).
Decades of auto racing on the Hughesville Fairgrounds’ dirt track is noted in this photo of Ted Horn, remembered as one of the best drivers to never win the Indianapolis 500 (despite 10 straight finishes in the top four).

A guide to the items on display is among the free material arrayed on a lobby table.
A guide to the items on display is among the free material arrayed on a lobby table.

Williamsport's long connection to baseball is celebrated with such collectibles as a Williamsport Mets scorecard, an Andrew McCutchen bobblehead, doll and a bat used by former Crosscutter Jose Bautista when he played at BB&T Ballpark last summer as a New York Met.
Williamsport’s long connection to baseball is celebrated with such collectibles as a Williamsport Mets scorecard, an Andrew McCutchen bobblehead, doll and a bat used by former Crosscutter Jose Bautista when he played at BB&T Ballpark last summer as a New York Met.

A 1910 Muncy Band drum, once bought at auction and used as a family's coffee table in Florida, is emblematic of the link between interscholastic athletes and the band members who support them.
A 1910 Muncy Band drum, once bought at auction and used as a family’s coffee table in Florida, is emblematic of the link between interscholastic athletes and the band members who support them.

Nostalgia abounds from station to station, including these historical photos of the Newberry Little League and its followers.
Nostalgia abounds from station to station, including these historical photos of the Newberry Little League and its followers.

An American Legion uniform worn by Arthur Leroy "Dewey" Waugh, a South Williamsporter who served three years in the Marines, precedes his professional playing days with the Williamsport Grays and Williamsport Tigers. In one of those serendipitous moments that history occasionally delivers, Waugh's granddaughter, Elizabeth P. – a part-time librarian at Penn College – was among those who worked on the exhibition.
An American Legion uniform worn by Arthur Leroy “Dewey” Waugh, a South Williamsporter who served three years in the Marines, precedes his professional playing days with the Williamsport Grays and Williamsport Tigers. In one of those serendipitous moments that history occasionally delivers, Waugh’s granddaughter, Elizabeth P. – a part-time librarian at Penn College – was among those who worked on the exhibition.

Let's hear it for the crowd-pumping assist from mascots, megaphones and marching bands!
Let’s hear it for the crowd-pumping assist from mascots, megaphones and marching bands!

A mid-1950s photo depicts a team of Williamsport Technical Institute students (including World War II and Korean War veterans and disabled United Mine Workers), one of the departmental squads that played a monthlong season of lunchtime softball with a coveted trophy at stake.
A mid-1950s photo depicts a team of Williamsport Technical Institute students (including World War II and Korean War veterans and disabled United Mine Workers), one of the departmental squads that played a monthlong season of lunchtime softball with a coveted trophy at stake.

The spillover of athletics into the culture itself is evident in this wall of sports-inspired products.
The spillover of athletics into the culture itself is evident in this wall of sports-inspired products.

What's a sporting event without concession food? Dining Services filled the bill with a menu that featured corn dogs and french fries.
What’s a sporting event without concession food? Dining Services filled the bill with a menu that featured corn dogs and french fries.

This 1947 jacket and glove was worn by Phil Hitesman, a member of the West Branch champion baseball team from Muncy – which raffled two tons of coal to raise money for the commemorative attire.
This 1947 jacket and glove was worn by Phil Hitesman, a member of the West Branch champion baseball team from Muncy – which raffled two tons of coal to raise money for the commemorative attire.

A shirt autographed by the 2011 Keystone Little League team, which represented the Mid-Atlantic Region in the Little League Baseball World Series, is a reminder of the record-setting crowds that followed the Clinton County players.
A shirt autographed by the 2011 Keystone Little League team, which represented the Mid-Atlantic Region in the Little League Baseball World Series, is a reminder of the record-setting crowds that followed the Clinton County players.

Because some of the action happens in the stands and on the sidelines, homage is paid to those who put the "fan" in "fanaticism."
Because some of the action happens in the stands and on the sidelines, homage is paid to those who put the “fan” in “fanaticism.”

A container filled with equipment covers many of the sports represented on the display floor ...
A container filled with equipment covers many of the sports represented on the display floor …

... while another panel makes sure that even fantasy leagues get their due!
… while another panel makes sure that even fantasy leagues get their due!

 

 

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