Monday February 2, 2009

Library Will Become Field of Dreams

Dayton at Bat! is a four-month exhibition that features hall of fame-quality displays and appearances by former Major League Baseball players.

From Feb. 10 to June 14, the University of Dayton will be among the few places in the world where baseball fans can see two hall of fame-quality exhibits and hear Major League Baseball players talk about their time in the game. And, it's free.

Galen Cisco, pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays' 1992 and 1993 world champion teams, will help kick off Dayton at Bat! with Bat Chat at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, in the Roesch Library Reference Room.

Cisco pitched in the majors for Boston, the New York Mets and Kansas City. Other panelists include former Wright State baseball coach Ron Nischwitz (Detroit, Cleveland), Jeff Reboulet (Minnesota, Baltimore, Kansas City, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh), Terry Bell (Kansas City, Atlanta) and John Romonosky (St. Louis Cardinals, Washington). Combined, they played with 18 baseball hall of famers.

Immediately after Bat Chat, collectors can receive a free evaluation of their items from baseball historians and appraisers.

Dayton at Bat! is a display of the collections of National Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter Si Burick of the Dayton Daily News and Dayton philanthropist Miriam Jacobs. The four-month display has the only known baseball autographed by three of the world's top four home run hitters — Sadaharu Oh, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Baseballs autographed by Warren Spahn, Johnny Vander Meer, Lefty Grove, Bob Feller and President Woodrow Wilson; and a manuscript of Sparky Anderson's biography, The Main Spark, also are among the approximately 140 items that will be on display Feb. 15 through June 14.

Dayton at Bat! begins Feb. 10 with Roger Freeman's photo display of Minor League Baseball. The display runs through March 11 in UD's Rike Gallery. Freeman's photos were on display last year at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Other events include a remembrance of Si Burick at 2 p.m. March 29; Big Red Machine History with Cincinnati Reds historian Greg Rhodes at 2 p.m. April 19; Baseball's Biggest Scandals with Matthew Shank, a business of baseball historian and dean of UD's School of Business Administration, at 1:30 p.m. May 3; and the Evolution of Baseball Equipment at 1 p.m. June 14. All of those events are in the UD Roesch Library Reference Room. There also will be two vintage baseball games played with 1860s rules at 3 p.m. May 3 and 2:30 p.m. June 14 at UD's Baujan Field, weather permitting.

Parking for events at the library and Rike Gallery is free in B Lot. Parking for the vintage baseball games is free next to the Athletics Practice Facility.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or