The Board of Directors of the Baseball Reliquary, Inc. recently announced that the organization has entered into an agreement with Whittier College administrators and faculty members to create the Institute for Baseball Studies, the first humanities-based research center of its kind associated with a college or university in the United States.
The Institute will be located on the third floor of the Mendenhall Building, Whittier College’s central administration facility (13406 E. Philadelphia St., Room 310B, Whittier, CA 90608). The Baseball Reliquary is a Pasadena-based nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the prism of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities. It is currently projected that the Institute for Baseball Studies will open in the fall of 2014. An announcement regarding a grand opening celebration will be forthcoming. For more on the Baseball Reliquary click here.
The Baseball Reliquary’s research collection will form the centerpiece of the Institute for Baseball Studies, which has been established to foster an intellectual community for creating and supporting interdisciplinary research and studies related to the cultural significance of baseball in American history. Joseph L. Price, Genevieve S. Connick Professor of Religious Studies at Whittier College, and Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, will serve as co-Directors of the Institute for Baseball Studies. Charles Adams, Professor of English at Whittier College, and Mike McBride, Professor of Political Science at Whittier College, will serve as Associate Directors. An Advisory Board will soon be announced.
The Baseball Reliquary’s research collection includes books and periodicals, the papers of distinguished baseball historians and journalists, and a variety of materials that will support multifaceted and interdisciplinary studies at Whittier College, and will prompt the exchange of ideas, the development of research initiatives, and the creation of public symposia and programs highlighting baseball’s significance in American culture. To supplement this collection of research materials, Whittier College professors Adams, McBride, and Price will be donating their archive of nearly 1000 baseball books to create an impressive resource for baseball studies. The Institute for Baseball Studies will be accessible to students, scholars, and the general public.
In addition to books, photographs, and paper ephemera, the Institute for Baseball Studies will serve as the repository for the following collections:
- Author and historian Paul Dickson’s research materials and correspondence related to three of his major manuscripts: The Dickson Baseball Dictionary; The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball; and Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick. Published originally in 1989, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary ranks as the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to baseball terminology ever compiled. Now available in its third edition, the book was awarded the 1989 Macmillan-SABR Award for Baseball Research and has been hailed as “a staggering piece of scholarship” by the Wall Street Journal.
- The Tony Salin Research Collection, which includes photographs and reference materials from the late baseball author and historian, who dedicated much of his life to the study of unsung ballplayers and forgotten aspects of baseball history. Included in this collection are research materials for his book, Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes: One Fan’s Search for the Game’s Most Interesting Overlooked Players, highlighting baseball icons such as Pete Gray, Chuck Connors, Bill Lange, Buzz Arlett, and Frenchy Bordagaray.
- Author and historian Tim Wendel’s research files for his books Summer of ’68: The Season that Changed Baseball—and America—Forever and High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time. Wendel, who teaches writing at The Johns Hopkins University, was a founding editor of USA Today Baseball Weekly.
- The Henry Goldich Collection, an archive of Los Angeles Dodgers programs, scorecards, and ephemera dating from 1961 through the early 1970s.
- The Baseball Reliquary’s organizational history and documentation from its founding in 1996 to the present, including news releases, flyers, miscellaneous clippings, catalogs and correspondence. Included are extensive files for its Shrine of the Eternals, the Baseball Reliquary’s alternative hall of fame, including all of the original ballots submitted by Baseball Reliquary members since annual voting began in 1999.
The Institute for Baseball Studies is supported, in part, by a POET Internship provided by Whittier College and by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.