A historic building. A historic gathering of baseball fans, writers, enthusiasts and shall we dare say…scholars?
From 2 years old to members of what Tom Brokaw writes about “The Greatest Generation” were the age ranges of those in attendance on a frigid Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis at the Rathskeller restaurant. The backdrop of the event was in the historic Athaneum building. A sense of history echoed from those walls, and before it gathered writers who had written about the game of baseball to tell the history to fellow baseball enthusiasts and loyal fans.
There was a scattering of distinguished loyalty gear being worn among the attendees, some lovable Chicago Cubs shirts, a crisp Cincinnati Reds hat, an authentic vintage Pittsburgh Pirates Roberto Clemente jersey, Redbirds swag, a Met’s cap with that distinct burnt orange. Did these people love history? Maybe not, but one thing was for sure: they loved baseball and it showed.
After a brief period of meeting and greeting and participants mingling with the authors about the books they had written (and are going to write) the crowd gathered in the main ball room for the panel discussion which included authors: Doug Wilson, Pete Cava, Chris Jensen, John Kovach and be moderated by event organizer and Play Ball Indiana board member Jeff Stanger. Topics included, females in baseball, youth baseball, baseball state by state, baseball hall of fame, steroids, history and general talk about the love of the beautiful game. If encyclopedia’s could morph into human beings, this was it.
IUPUI Journalism professor and author Chris Lamb was the featured speaker this year. Chris took the attendees back 60 years to that day when the Cannon Street YMCA All Stars broke Little League’s color barrier about the team that has been called “The most significant team in amateur baseball history.”
If you didn’t have a chance to be a part of the actual baseball book festival you can still get some of the great content from the authors that were in attendance by joining the “Virtual Book Festival” for $15 for a 12 month subscription = short stories, free chapters, e-books, articles by the participating authors.
This event was created by Jeff Stanger to help support Play Ball Indiana and our RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) programs and initiatives. To learn more about PBI and to join our team CLICK HERE.
Huge thank you to our sponsors: Cardinal Publishing, Indy Reads Books, Spitball Magazine, University of Nebraska Press, Blue River Press, Summer Game Books and The Rathskeller Restaurant.