Closing out the afternoon session was Mark Harnischfeger, whose talk on “Teaching Racism” focused on teaching strategies designed to highlight the influence of black baseball on the Civil Rights Movement.
Players who participated in the panel discussion were presented with genuine Louisville Sluggers. Also attending the banquet were former players Jake Sanders, Rendon Marbury, Ray Haggins and Sam Hairston, Jr.
Tom Tuttle from Minnetonka (MN) said that “The quality of the presentations made during the event was exceptional. The scholarship was impressive, as was the clear passion for the subject matter exhibited by the presenters.”
With great pleasure, custom hand-carved wooden baseballs engraved with “2010 JMC” were provided by artist Benjamin Blackburn as gifts to each presenter. Check out his wonderful work at: http://wonderboystudios.com/
“This year’s meeting was better than ever, but what put it far over the top were the visits to Rickwood Field and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute,” said Roy Langhans from Cockeysville (MD). “Wow, what a great experience!”
Proving to be smarter than a fifth grader, Karl Lindholm took home the Trivia trophy, dethroning last year’s champion Ted Knorr. Hopefully the two Jeopardy champions will spar off next year in Indy. As one gentleman exaggerated, “The trivia contest was the centerpiece of the whole conference with a hundred contestants in an exhausting and grueling competition.”
Lindholm added, “I enjoyed the conference immensely. It was very well organized with a nice friendly spirit.”
The NEOJAZZ SCHOOL OF MUSIC, from Willie Mays’ hometown of Fairfield, Alabama, rocked the house with soulful sounds before, during and after the Awards banquet. The youth group’s mission is to educate, train, and develop gifted music students into professional career musicians. The evening’s quintet consisted of Yah ‘El Yisrael on keyboards, Yirmeyahu Yisrael on drums, Yehosheba Yisrael on bass guitar and Jeronne Ansari on alto sax. Following a Southern cuisine delight, the lovely vocalist Whitney Mitchell opened up the awards ceremony with a cappella rendition of the National Anthem, followed by a chorus of “Play Ball” from the crowd. Check out their sounds at www.neojazz.net .
Other awards winners included the TWEED WEBB LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to Tony Kissel for his research on the Cuban Giants in the 1880s and the 1890s. Zann Nelson was the newcomer of the year, winning the JOHN COATES NEXT GENERATION AWARD for her articles on Pete Hill.
The ROBERT PETERSON RECOGNITION AWARDS went to Martha Ackmann for her book on Toni Stone, called Curveball, and to Tim Gay, from PBS’s History Detectives, for his account of the barnstorming adventures of Satchel, Dizzy and Rapid Bob Feller.
We also announced the essay winners of our two $2,500 scholarships. They were Chad Richardson from West Chester, Ohio for his essay entitled “Shattering the Color Barrier” and Lewis Pollis from Cleveland Heights, Ohio for a piece called, “Guts Enough to Not Fight Back.” To their credit, our scholarship winners beat competitive essays from 36 states and Germany with the will and skill often exhibited by barrier breakers before Jackie Robinson.
With happy tummies around the room, the first award went to Roy Langhans for being the first person to register for the conference. He was followed by winners Jack and Maureen Anderson, who came the farthest distance from Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada.
The winners of our two Library Grants went to two schools in the same city, Columbus, Mississippi, the hometown of Hall of Fame announcer Red Barber who wrote the book “In 1947, When All Hell Broke Loose in Baseball.” S.D. Lee Middle School, for “Step Up to the Plate,” and West Lowndes Elementary for “Batter Up! Reader Up!” each won $1,000.