MICKEY MANTLE BIOGRAPHER JANE LEAVY, FORMER RED SOX FIRST BASEMEN BILL BUCKNER HEADLINE WEEK OF TALKS ON "BASEBALL IN AMERICAN CULTURE" IN CALDWELL
The Idaho Humanities Council will offer four public lectures at the College of Idaho, July 13-18, exploring the theme
Baseball in American Culture. The evening public lectures are part of a weeklong institute for Idaho teachers exploring the history of baseball and the many facets of the game that make it our National Pastime. The talks are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Langroise Recital Hall on the College of Idaho campus in Caldwell.
Sunday, July 13, 7:00 p.m., The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood - Jane Leavy
Jane Leavy is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Bo y: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood and Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, as well as the comic novel Squeeze Play, which Entertainment Weekly called "the best novel ever written about baseball." She was a staff writer at The Washington Post from 1979 to1988, covering baseball, tennis, and the Olympics for the paper. Before joining The Washington Post, she was a staff writer at Women Sports and Self magazines. Leavy has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, and The New York Daily News. Her work has been anthologized in many collections, including Best Sportswriting and Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference. Leavy attended Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she wrote her master's essay (later published in The Village Voice) on Red Smith, the late sports columnist for The New York Times.
Monday, July 14, 7:00 p.m., Baseball in 'The Bleachers' - Steve Moore
Nationally syndicated cartoonist Steve Moore will present a play-by-play commentary along with a retrospective collection of his favorite "In the Bleachers" baseball cartoons. Moore will share select cartoons pulled from an archive of nearly 1,000 baseball-related panels drawn during his 30-year career as a syndicated cartoonist. He received his master's degree in journalism & communications from the University of Oregon. His comic strip, "In the Bleachers," is distributed by Universal Uclick to hundreds of newspapers and websites worldwide. In 2006, Moore teamed up with Oscar-winning "Rango" producer John Carls to create and executive produce the hit movie "Open Season," Sony Pictures Animation's first film. He is currently writing and illustrating "King of the Bench," a series of four middle-school books for HarperCollins. Moore is a former Executive News Editor for the Los Angeles Times. He now lives with his three children in Boise, Idaho.
Tuesday, July 15, 7:00 p.m., Getting Home: Baseball in Communist Poland - Gary Gildner
In1987-88 Gary Gildner was a Fulbright Scholar teaching American literature at the University of Warsaw. He was also working on smoothing out a wild, gifted, frustrated assemblage of athletes - soccer players, runners, gymnasts - who had fallen in love with baseball, a game that allowed them the chance to race home. Gildner states that "of all the metaphors that had come to me from baseball, this one, in that place, was the most profound and the tenderest." His book, The Warsaw Sparks (first edition, University of Iowa Press, 1990; second edition, University of Nebraska Press, 2008), is about that experience coaching a baseball team in Communist Poland. Gildner is an award-winning poet and novelist whose works include My Grandfather's Book, Blue Like the Heavens, and The Bunker in the Parsley Fields, which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. He received the National Magazine Award for Fiction, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams and Theodore Roethke poetry prizes, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thursday, July 17, 7:00 p.m., An Interview with Bill Buckner - Robert Santelli and Bill Buckner
Robert Santelli, Executive Director of The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and author of The Baseball Fan's Bucket List, will interview Bill Buckner, a former Major League player for 22 years. Buckner played primarily for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Reds Sox. His first manager was Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. He first made it to the majors with the Dodgers in 1969 at the age of 19. He was playing left field when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record on April 8, 1974. In 1977, Buckner was traded to the Cubs, and in 1984, the Cubs traded Buckner to the Red Sox, where he immediately became the starting first baseman. He broke the Major League record with 184 assists in 1985. Over the next few years, he played for the California Angels, Kansas City Royals and again with the Red Sox, with whom he retired in 1990. Buckner had a lifetime batting average of .289 with 2,715 hits, 174 home runs, 498 doubles and 1,208 RBI's. He won one batting title and was named an All-Star in 1981. He is one of a small number of players who had 200 hit-seasons in both leagues and played in four decades. After retiring, Buckner stayed involved in baseball, coaching six years for the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox. He and his family now live in Boise, Idaho.
Funded by Idaho Humanities Council's Endowment for Humanities Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the weeklong summer teacher institute will involve scholars David Adler, director of Boise State University's Andrus Center for Public Policy and one-time sportswriter; Katherine Aiken, University of Idaho Provost, professor of history and popular culture; Kevin Marsh, Idaho State University history professor, and "Idaho Hometown Teams" exhibition scholar; and Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, and curator of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition "Hometown Teams" (touring Idaho in 2014).
The Idaho Humanities Council offers summer institutes for Idaho teachers every year, exploring different topics and disciplines of the humanities and covering lodging, meals, texts, and other expenses for teachers to attend. Past institutes have explored the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, Native American literature, the works of John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway, the history of the Cold War, the history of the Supreme Court, and many other topics.