In the middle of July, baseball season is reaching its peak. And the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in Latrobe is providing the perfect opportunity to indulge in baseball and its history.
Dr. Tim Kelly, a professor and the chair of the history department at St. Vincent, will host a baseball history event at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum.
Kelsey Harris, an assistant at the museum, said they are excited to host the event.
“This is great opportunity for the community to learn about America’s pastime and a little bit about the museum,” Harris said.
The event will feature the history of baseball in the 19th and 20th centuries and the coal patch community industrial leagues.
The coal patch community industrial leagues were amateur adult leagues started by employees of some of the Western Pennsylvania coal mines, Kelly said.
“If you were a good baseball player, you got a job,” he said.
One coal patch team was the Donora Zincs. Stan Musial, who was known for his tremendous hitting skills with the St. Louis Cardinals, originally played for the Zincs.
The coal patch leagues became feeder teams to the professional teams before the coal patch leagues soon declined, mostly because of an increase in radio and television broadcasting.
Kelly came up with the idea because he has always enjoyed studying baseball. And as a historian, he had no problem conducting a presentation on the history of the game.
“What I am hoping to accomplish is to use baseball to understand society more broadly,” Kelly said.
He hopes to have interactive discussion as well. For one part of the presentation, Kelly said he wants to look at artifacts like baseball cards and wants to invite people to be “historians” for a day.
“It’s helpful to know how baseball affected society and the expression of American culture,” Kelly said.
He also wants anyone that attends to understand the rules of baseball and discuss why they exist.
To liven the baseball spirit, there will be traditional baseball snacks — cracker jacks and hot dogs — included in the $8 fee. For tickets, go to lhhc.org, scroll to the gift shop tab and click on the LHHC Event tickets link.