Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28, the Austin History Center will open its newest photography exhibit in the David Earl Holt Photo Gallery. “Play Ball! Austin and the Great American Pastime” is an overview of Austin’s love affair with the game of baseball and explores the sport in 22 photographs from the AHC collections.
For almost 150 years Austin has made baseball part of the local culture. From Little Leagues to professional ball, Austin has been home to hundreds of teams in dozens of leagues, forever making the story of baseball a part of the city’s history.
Austin has hosted major league exhibitions pitting local amateurs against the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds. UT invited baseball teams in the 1920s and 1930s to play exhibitions, hosting games against the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees. Austin has also made baseball greats of its own. Willie Wells and Hilton Smith, players with the Austin Black Senators, were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 and 2001, respectively.
Whether it was pros, UT or Little Leagues, millions of Austinites have answered the call of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and made the game a part of the social fabric of this town. This exhibit explores the stories of the teams and players who have made an impact on the great American pastime in Austin and the country. The exhibit runs through Sunday, August 13, 2017.