SALISBURY, MD—As major and minor league baseball teams throughout the U.S. prepare to begin the 2019 season, most fans are familiar with the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
But what about the Pocomoke Indians, Crisfield Vets and Oaksville Eagles?
Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture is embarking on an 18-month project to chronicle these and other local teams that once populated the Eastern Shore baseball leagues of the mid-20th century, thanks to a competitive $11,300 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Common Heritage Program.
“At one time, the local teams that played in these leagues were a point of community pride,” said Dr. Creston Long, the center’s director. “Before television brought national games into their living rooms, people flocked to their neighborhood ballparks to cheer on teams often comprised of the people with whom they lived and worked every day. It’s an important — and sometimes forgotten — piece of the Shore’s shared history.”
The grant will allow the Nabb Center to create a digital archive of materials held by many people throughout the region, giving researchers an opportunity to view historical photos, programs, scorecards and more while still allowing the original owners to keep their family treasures related to the teams for which their fathers, grandfathers and others once played.
The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame, located at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, is a partner in the year-long project, which will culminate with an SU exhibit on mid-century Eastern Shore baseball leagues in spring 2020. A panel discussion with historians and former players also is expected at SU this spring.
The NEH Common Heritage Program supports outreach and digitization projects to increase awareness and stewardship of public collections.
For more information call 410-543-6312 or visit the Nabb Center website at www.salisbury.edu/libraries/nabb/index.aspx.