Maryland Humanities Council Announces Final Stop of Smithsonian Exhibition Hometown Teams

September 14, 2015

Hometown Teams Opens in Howard County on September 19

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, is currently touring the state through a partnership with the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC).  The Howard County Historical Society Museum, the final stop on its tour, welcomes the public on September 19th at 1:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibition and its companion exhibit highlighting the history of the local “Hometown Heroes” of Howard County sports.

The companion exhibit will examine the role that local sports have played in the Howard County community and will feature images, artifacts, and stories from various team sports dating back to the early 1900s. The exhibit will look at the rich tradition of Howard County high school sports and niche or bygone sports like equestrianism, field ball, and fox hunting. Programming accompanying the exhibit will feature local athletes who went on to play or coach at various professional and amateur levels, including Jack Merson, the Elkridge-born second baseman who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox, and Doug Duvall, the legendary coach of the Wilde Lake football team.

In a recent segment on MHC’s radio program on WYPR, Humanities Connection, Shawn Gladden, Executive Director of the Howard County Historical Society, spoke to the vital role sports play in uniting communities across the country, including Howard County. “Whether we play, coach, or watch; we as members of the community are drawn to the spectacle of sport, the thrill of competition, and the comradery of the team.”

The opening day festivities will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday with an honorary ribbon cutting marking the opening of the exhibit, and visitors will be invited to tour the exhibits for the first time. The festivities will continue the next day at Historic Mt. Ida Mansion in Ellicott City, which will host on its grounds a Vintage 19th-Century Baseball Game, a sports-history program offered in conjunction with Hometown Teams. This look back in time includes two baseball games featuring 19th-century rules, uniforms, and equipment, as well as children’s games from the 1800s. Gates open at noon on Sunday, September 20th, with games at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00.

Hometown Teams runs at the Howard County Historical Society Museum September 19—November 7, 2015. The Howard County Historical Society Museum is located at 8328 Court Avenue in Ellicott City. Learn more at or call (410) 480-3250.

Hometown Teams Brings The Smithsonian To Maryland Communities

Hometown Teams is the fourth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to our state by the Maryland Humanities Council.  The traveling exhibition explores our nation’s love of sports and its connection to American culture and identity. The interactive exhibit celebrates the history of sports in our nation, breaking color barriers, fans and fandom, and sports in film and literature and more.  Each host site develops a companion exhibit and educational programs for their communities for a seven-week period that tells local sports stories.

Local host sites unearth stories, like the Hot Sox ball field in Galesville, soapbox derby champions hailing from Federalsburg, Cumberland’s Pig Tail and Queen City softball leagues, and athletes who rose to fame at the state’s many HBCUs. Howard County resident and Paralympian athlete, Tatyana McFadden, who has made a lasting international impact on her respective sports, is also part of the national Smithsonian exhibition.


Hometown Teams Maryland Tour

Banneker-Douglass Museum                        February 7 – March 28, 2015

Federalsburg Historical Society                   April 4 – May 23, 2015

Allegany Museum                                                May 30—July 18, 2015

Galesville Community Center                       July 25 – September 12, 2015

Howard County Historical Society             September 19 – November 7 Highlights Maryland Sports History and Culture in 2015

The Maryland Humanities Council created to promote Hometown Teams and to celebrate our state’s unique sports culture and history. Follow the blog online or via twitter at @MarylandStories. Visitors are welcome to share content, learn more about Hometown Teams, and enter the “Coach of the Community” contest.

Nominate Your Coach for the “Coach of the Community” Award!
NOTE:  Western Maryland residents should submit their nominations by June 1st.  The local winner will be announced June 14th. Coaches do much more than develop athletic skills in their players; they are an integral part of the sports-loving experience, and there is no game without them. The public is encouraged to nominate their favorite local coach at and complete the phrase “My coach is my hometown hero because…”  One winner will be chosen for each of the Hometown Teams host sites and will receive an award and a set of team t-shirts.  One grand-prize winner will receive a trip to the 2015 Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

Contest sponsor: Nightmare Graphics.

About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street (MoMS), is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state humanities councils to bring high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own Main Street museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues.  Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, and diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage. Hometown Teams is a program of The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

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