Smithsonian Institution Hometown Teams Exhibition Tour Opens in Cumberland

April 23, 2015

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, tours the state through a partnership with the Maryland Humanities Council.  The Allegany Museum, the third stop on its tour, welcomes the public to join them on May 30 at 1pm to celebrate exhibition’s opening.  The opening includes a ribbon cutting, with former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Cas Taylor serving as Master of Ceremonies and a short presentation by Robert Broadwater, author of Lefty Grove-1931 Athletics.  The Allegany Museum is located at 3 Pershing Street, in Cumberland, Maryland.

Truly a community effort, the Allegany Museum has partnered with Frostburg State University, Allegany College, the Allegany County Library System, the C. Gilchrist Museum of the Arts, the Allegany Historical Society, Mountain City Traditional Arts, and the Frostburg Museum to provide additional public programs and to help tell Cumberland’s local sports history, complimenting the Hometown Teams exhibit housed at the Allegany Museum.  According to Vic Rezendes, Vice President Administration at the Allegany Museum, “this collaborative effort is another example of how sports can unite a community.”

Allegany County has a proud sports history. From producing famous baseball players and championship marble players to hosting fierce high school sports rivalries, Allegany County has many unique sports stories.

More than just museum exhibits, events will include marble demonstration games on mats designed by a well-known artist at the Gilchrist Museum, workshops on scrapbooking and quilting using sports jerseys and uniforms with Mountain City Traditional Arts, and book readings and talks by local athletes at libraries.

In the 1930s, Cumberland was home of the Colts, a Yankee farm baseball team. Babe Ruth and other famous Yankee players came to Cumberland for exhibition games. Visit the exhibit to see a baseball that the “Babe” hit out of the local stadium, along with a large model of the stadium that was situated at the terminus of the C&O Canal. Another exhibit will highlight memorabilia from the career of Robert Moses “Lefty” Grove, perhaps the best left-handed pitcher in history, who was born and raised in Allegany County.

Cumberland’s own, Jake Reynolds, won a gold medal in alpine skiing at the 2013 World Winter Special Olympics in South Korea. Come by the Museum to learn more about Jake’s story. Telling sports stories was sports writer Jiggs Burns’ job for over three decades as the Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News newspaper. Burns’ career will be highlighted in the exhibition along with several of his key photos and featured sports stories.

Hometown Teams runs at the Allegany Museum May30—July 18, 2015.  Learn more at or call (301) 777-7200.

List of Exhibits and Locations:

Allegany Museum, 9 Pershing St Cumberland,
Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit along with the 1930s’ Cumberland baseball stadium where Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove played, and the story of our Special Olympian gold-medalist

Allegany College of Maryland, Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland,
Sports memorabilia, photos, and video of sports in College history

Allegany County Library, 76 Main St, Lonaconing,
Focus on the career of famous pitcher Robert Moses “Lefty” Grove, born in Lonaconing. Book readings and talks by local athletes.

Frostburg Museum, 19 Depot Rd, Frostburg,
Cheerleader, band, and football uniform photos from Beall High School

Frostburg State University, 101 Braddock Road, Frostburg,
An exhibition about players who are part of the college’s Hall of Fame.

William Gilchrist Museum of the Arts, 104 Washington St, Cumberland,
Exhibition of marbles and sports-themed paintings and sculptures; demonstration competition by local marble champions on game mats by artist Greg Malloy; display of history of Marble King factory, W.Va

Gordon Roberts House, 218 Washington St, Cumberland,
Exhibition of cheerleader, drill team, and music marching band uniforms and other artifacts

Mountain City Traditional Arts, 25 E. Main Street, Frostburg,
Exhibition featuring roller derby, track and field, and cross country; scrapbooking and quilting workshops, using sports jerseys and uniforms


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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