Smithsonian Institution Hometown Teams Exhibition Opens in Galesville
Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, is currently touring the state through a partnership with the Maryland Humanities Council. The Galesville Community Center, the fourth stop on its tour, welcomes the public to join them on July 25th at 11:00 AM to celebrate the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibition and its companion exhibit featuring the history of the local Hot Sox baseball team. The Hot Sox exhibit will include the Hot Sox Documentary Story quilt along with projects developed by local students over the past year, including documentaries and oral histories that tell the Hot Sox story. The Galesville Community Center partnered with the Anne Arundel County Cultural Resources Division of the Office of Planning and Zoning to bring Hometown Teams to Galesville. This partnership was launched in 2013 as the “Field of Dreams” project to gather and share the stories of the people and places rooted in the history of the Galesville community.
C. Jane Cox, Cultural Resources Planner for Anne Arundel County, said: “The Hometown Teams exhibit is an exciting opportunity for Anne Arundel County, in partnership with the Galesville Community Center, to highlight and explore the story of the Galesville Hot Sox baseball team, the legacy of their historic ball field, and the role the team played in fostering a tightly knit African-American community during an era of Jim Crow segregation. The Hot Sox was more than just a baseball team. It was an institution that brought the African American community of Galesville together from the early 1900s until the 1960s.”
During the opening day festivities, the new “Field Guide to Galesville” will be unveiled, and the Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps will perform before an honorary ribbon cutting marking the opening of the exhibition. Mr. Dwayne Renal Sims, Founder and CEO of the Negro League Legends Hall of Fame, will offer remarks about the importance of baseball in small communities. The Galesville Community Center is located at 916 West Benning Road, in Galesville, Maryland.
The Galesville Community Center is housed in a renovated Rosenwald School in Anne Arundel County. Adjacent to the former grade school for African-American students is a ball field, which Anne Arundel County purchased in 2011. Now known as Hot Sox Field at Wilson Park, the field was a Negro League sand lot ball park for the Galesville Hot Sox baseball team. The team, their history, and the history of Galesville— a working class waterman’s town—are the focus of the companion exhibition and programs.
There is very little about the Hot Sox and the Galesville community in the written record, so one of the first and main sources of information about the Hot Sox is the surviving players and fans. In a program called “Hometown Heroes,” students and community members collected oral histories of Galesville residents, including baseball players from the Hot Sox, their families, and fans, as well as sailors who were critical to the development of the yachting community on the West River, and formation of the West River Sailing Club, at the other end of town.
Hometown Teams runs at the Galesville Community Center July 25—September 12, 2015. Learn more at www.historicgalesville.org or call (410) 703-0610.
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
MdStories.com Highlights Maryland Sports History and Culture in 2015
The Maryland Humanities Council created mdstories.com 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 mdstories.com 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.