The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) has named a Senior Managing Director of the United States Golf Association the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Schroeder Award.  Dr. Randon (Rand) Jerris will be formally recognized during ISHA’s “An Evening of Champions” on October 22, 2015, as part of ISHA’s annual conference, hosted this year by the World of Little League Museum, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Presented periodically, the W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the International Sports Heritage Association and is given to individuals for meritorious service of lasting nature in the sports heritage industry and their communities.

“Dr. Jerris has distinguished himself as a leader of the USGA museum and as a golf historian,” said ISHA President Marjorie Snyder. “His passion, dedication, and expertise transformed the USGA Museum and has positioned it as model we can all aspire to. I can think of no one who is more deserving of this honor.”

Dr. Randon Jerris: Dr. Jerris holds a B.A. in Geology (1991) and an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies (1994) from Williams College, and an M.A. in Art and Archaeology (1996) and a Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology (1999) from Princeton University.  He has authored three books: Golf’s Golden Age: Robert T. Jones Jr. and the Legendary Players of the ‘10s, ‘20s, and ‘30s; The Game of Golf and the Printed Word: 1566-2005, with co-author Richard E. Donovan; and The Historical Dictionary of Golf, with co-author Bill Mallon. For his work with Donovan, Jerris was awarded the Murdoch Medal by the British Golf Collectors Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to the game’s history.

Dr. Jerris joined the USGA’s staff in a part-time capacity from 1988 through 1996, became the Association’s librarian and historian in 1999 and was named director of the Museum in 2002.  He led the efforts for the design and new construction of the 33,000 square foot Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History and oversaw the renovation of the original Museum structure.  Today as the United States Golf Association’s senior managing director for public services, Rand Jerris oversees a variety of functions, including facilities management, Green Section, philanthropy and grants, strategic and operational planning, and the USGA Museum. He remains active in researching and promoting the history of the game, focused on golf course architecture, golf art and the history of golf in the Alps.

 

 

 

 

 

ISHA September Silent AuctionISHA is still looking for silent auction items to hep raise money for the Founder’s Fund, which supports our ISHA members to attend the annual conference and for special projects.

Click on the image to the right for more information.

And don’t forget to participate in the reverse raffle at the 2015 Conference, which also raises money for the Founder’s Fund. Click here for more information. 

 

Mr. Mussina, and his oldest son, Bryce, during the 2014 Montoursville (Pa.) Little League season.

Mr. Mussina, and his oldest son, Bryce, during the 2014 Montoursville (Pa.) Little League season.

Joining Little League® at the age of eight and playing until he was 15, Mike Mussina pitched his first game ever for the Johnny Z’s Restaurant team in the Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Little League (MLL) at the age of 10. From that fateful day, he embarked on a baseball career that took him from the blue and gold of the Montoursville High School Warriors, to the Cardinal Red of Stanford University, to Major League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.

In 2014, Mr. Mussina’s accomplishments on and off the baseball field were recognized when he was enshrined in the World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence. Mr. Mussina was the 48th person to be enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence.

Before the Welcome Luncheon, conference attendees will have the opportunity to submit written questions for Mr. Mussina. Cards will be available on Wednesday morning for the questions and several will be selected by Lance Van Auken, Vice President and Executive Director of the World of Little League Museum and Official Store, who will moderate the Q&A program.

“My dad was my Little League coach when I was 11 and 12,” said Mr. Mussina of his father, Malcolm. “He took me out to the backyard and played catch with me, and taught me the little things about baseball (and life) that over time became part of who I am.”

While his career took him to the highest level of baseball, Little League has always been near to Mr. Mussina’s heart. In 2001, he was elected to the Little League International Board of Directors. His is in his sixth year as a Little League coach and his 17th as an MLL volunteer Board member.

“Many people helped mentor me as a player and have helped shape me as a coach. I’ve learned intensity, compassion and how to deal with players in a lot of different ways,” said Mr. Mussina. “There are pieces of my father; my high school baseball coach, Carter Giles: my coaches at Stanford, Mark Marquess and Tim Dutton; and Joe Torre and many others … over the years, I’ve learned a little bit of something from all of them.”

Consistency, tenacity and durability were staples of Mr. Mussina’s MLB career. As a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, his experience and unique insight have been valuable to discussions at the highest levels of the organization.

Among the decisions made during his tenure on the Board was the significant shift in Little League rules governing pitcher eligibility. The conversion to the Little League Baseball Pitch Count and development of the regulations came with Mr. Mussina’s direct input, along with fellow Little League Board of Directors member, and premier expert on sports injuries, Dr. James Andrews and his colleague, Dr. Glenn Fleisig. Since 2007, when the regulations were implemented, Mr. Mussina has had the opportunity to experience the positive impact first-hand, both as a coach and parent.

“Keeping players healthy and safe is so important, especially in Little League,” said Mr. Mussina. “As a pitcher, parent, and coach, the Little League Pitch Count Regulations are the best way to protect young pitchers and promote arm safety in youth baseball.”

Retiring from the Yankees in 2008, Mr. Mussina, then 39, hung up his uniform after posting a 20-win season (20-8). For his career with the Orioles and Yankees, he won at least 11 games in 17 consecutive seasons (an American League record) and recorded a career .638 winning percentage. Among pitchers, he ranks 33rd in all-time wins (270), 33rd in games started (535), 66th in innings pitched (3,562.2), and 19th in strikeouts (2,813). A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, Mike’s consistency resulted in six top-five finishes in the voting for the American League’s Cy Young Award. Mr. Mussina graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in economics, while competing for the Cardinal baseball team.

“In baseball – and all sports – you learn stuff that you don’t know you’re going to use in life,” said Mr. Mussina. “As a coach and a parent, I want children to take the best parts of whatever situation and pass those lessons onto the next generation. If my players and my own kids are able to do that, I’ll be very proud.”

“As a Little League graduate, parent, volunteer, local Board Member, and International Board of Directors Member, Mike truly embodies the Little League values of Character, Courage, and Loyalty,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “As Little League celebrates its 75th Anniversary, it is wonderful to recognize Mike’s on-field and off-field achievements as one of the Williamsport-area’s most accomplished residents and Little League graduates.”

Established in 1988, enshrinement in the World of Little League Hall of Excellence is an annual honor bestowed on a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. For more information and a complete list of Hall of Excellence enshrinees, visit LittleLeagueMuseum.org.
Mr. Mussina, played his final eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees. Photo courtesy of: New York Yankees. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

musgraveDr. Story Musgrave, member of the World of Little League(r) Hall of Excellence and NASA astronaut, performed three of the five space walks to repair Hubble Space Telescope during an 11-day flight that traveled 4,443,772 miles in 163 orbits of the Earth. Dr. Musgrave is the keynote speaker during the Evening of Champions dinner on Thursday, Oct. 22.

His talk will be out of this world.

Retiring after 30 years as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut, Dr. Musgrave was inducted in 1994 to the Hall of Excellence in the World of Little® League Museum. Each Hall of Excellence member played Little League.

Perhaps the greatest Renaissance man of our time, Dr. Musgrave made three of the five space walks to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He flew on six space flights, performing the first spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight. He suffered frostbite on his fingers from a spacewalk.

Dr. Musgrave was born on a farm in 1935 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His early years of exploration are what sparked his interest in space. He recalls being alone at night in the forest at age three, riding a homebuilt raft on a river at age five, and driving trucks and tractors by age 10. When he was 13, he repaired them.

Dr. Musgrave did not finish high school. Instead, he ran off to Korea with the U.S. Marines where he began his formal experience with aircraft. Throughout the next 55 years, Dr. Musgrave accumulated 18,000 hours in more than 160 aircraft, according to his biography. He has seven graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology. He has received 20 honorary doctorate degrees and was a part-time trauma surgeon during this 30-year astronaut career.

Now, however, he no longer identifies himself primarily as an astronaut, although he has plenty of space stories to share. One of his favorites involves Halloween. “Mission Control was working very hard and I wanted to lighten their day by dressing as a witch and riding a broom … but, there are no brooms in space, so I rode a vacuum cleaner. It sucked in air in one end and pushed it out the other just like a jet engine.”

He is the father of seven children. He and his wife Amanda have a daughter, also named Story, who is eight. A child of the digital age, dad and daughter often spend time fishing or riding a tractor. It is critical for children to feel as comfortable with trees and soil as they are with the world they can bring up on a screen, the father explains.

Playing Little League as a youngster gave him a social life and camaraderie with others. “It helped me be a team player,” he said. Mental illness and alcoholism remained at home when at the ballfield: “Little League played a very important role in my early life.

“My huge celebration with Little League was with my own children,” Dr. Musgrave said, adding that the six oldest played in the Clear Lake area outside of Houston, Texas. At his ranch in Kissimmee, Florida, he and his daughter are playing catch. “She has a heck of an arm – she can throw right or left.”

In addition to enjoying his family now that he is “retired,” Dr. Musgrave spends time at his palm farm in Florida, a production company in Sydney, Australia, and a sculpture company in Burbank, California.  Plus, he is a landscape architect, professor of design, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and performs multi-media presentations.

 

 

David Belisle, a Little League coach from Cumberland, R.I., who was nominated for the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, is among the speakers at the International Sports Heritage Association’s 45th annual Conference in October in Williamsport, Pa. He was named as a 2014 National Federation of State High School Associations’ Coach of the Year.

Mr. Belisle became a national sensation after his emotional speech to his team after elimination from the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series. ESPN cameras followed as Coach Belisle took his team to the outfield for “the talk.” His inspiring words were heard by millions and resonated at all levels of sport.

His post-game speech went viral and prompted his nomination as Sportsman of the Year. It is featured in a You Tube video link here.

Mr. Belisle’s unwavering sportsmanship and ability to inspire not only his New England Region Championship team, but also millions of people around the world, was captured in a nomination essay written by SI’s Seth Davis.

“If Belisle’s Little League coaching career really is over, then it is fitting that he should go out with a loss. His words would have had far less meaning had they been delivered in the wake of a victory. Belisle was right when he said his boys should feel proud of what they had done, but as it turns out, he was right about the rest of us, too. We like sportsmen,” wrote Davis.

He was among 20 individuals nominated for this honor, which Sports Illustrated has bestowed since 1954. The recipients are some of the biggest names in sports, including Little League graduates Drew Brees, Derek Jeter, Brett Favre, and Carl Yastrzemski. Fittingly, in 1957, Stan Musial was honored as Sportsman of the Year.

Williamsport: Once the Lumber Capital of the World, Most Millionaires

Before it was known as the “Home of Little League,” Williamsport, nestled in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Valley surrounded by mountains filled with Hemlocks and White Pine, was the Lumber Capital of the World.

It has been said Williamsport had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world! As a result, beautiful houses can be found along Millionaires Row along West Fourth Street. It starts just west of the Genetti Hotel where the International Sports Heritage Association’s 45th annual Conference will be held in October.

Architectural styles include Italian Villa, Queen Anne, Victorian Romanesque, Second Empire, Gothic, and Colonial Revival, among others, according to local historian Dr. John F. Piper Jr. Many of the homes and churches along Millionaires Row are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Piper writes that the “rich and varied architectural gems along West Fourth Street” were erected by the great lumber barons to flaunt their wealth and impress their neighbors. “They spent as freely on the interiors as they did on the exteriors, filling their homes with grand staircases, polished wood, intricate mantelpieces and works of art.”

One of the structures, a remarkable Queen Anne Victorian, was restored by Preservation Williamsport to its original splendor – the Rowley House Museum, 707 West Fourth Street.  It was designed and built in 1888 for Edwin A. and Emma Rowley. Mr. Rowley was a prominent industrialist who amassed his wealth as part of Rowley and Hermance Co., which manufactured wood working machinery for furniture, sash and door companies worldwide. Architect Eber Culver considered it one of his best designs.

The Rowley House is open by appointment and conference attendees will receive a discount by mentioning the ISHA conference. Appointments are coordinated by (570) 546-9562.

Helping to promote the economy was the Susquehanna Boom,  a six-mile system of cribs that held the timber until it could be processed at one of the nearly 60 sawmills along the river and Loyalsock and Lycoming creeks. The boom consisted of a chain of floating logs that contained other floating logs. It was severely damaged by a flood in 1889 and its use declined thereafter. In recent years virgin timber that sank along the riverbanks has been excavated and used to make violins, for example.

For the adventurous, the Golden Eagle Trail in Lycoming County takes hikers by a remaining virgin stand of Eastern Hemlock in a primeval forest, small waterfalls and remarkable vistas, according to an article in 1979 about Penn’s Woods that appeared in Backpacker Magazine.

Those who are not planning a mountainous hike, may take a walking tour of Millionaires Row. Information is available at here.

 

October Synonymous With Leaf Peeping Season

leaf peepingWhen fall arrives in Pennsylvania, shades of orange, gold, and red in endless variations blanket the state’s leafy forests, reward the senses and provoke thoughts of crisp air, warm sweaters, and hot cocoa. The state is in one of three regions in the world that support deciduous forests that display fall autumn color.

Typically, the peak time for optimum color in Williamsport is mid-October, Oct. 13-25. (In time for the International Sports Heritage Association Conference!) This zone includes the west portion of the state (Pittsburgh, Erie) and the center of the state (along Interstate 80).

The Southern Zone of the state, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Gettysburg and Pennsylvania Dutch areas, typically is coming into the height of its fall glory near the end of October.

The Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, north of Williamsport, usually has its peak color in early October.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources operates a Website that tracks the foliage season. It can be found at: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/stateforests/fallfoliage/.

Ways to experience the season’s vibrant colors include: Scenic Drives, Hiking and Biking Trails, Train Rides and Bird Watching. See more at: http://www.visitpa.com/articles/pennsylvania-fall-foliage.

 

Accredited Lycoming County Historical Society Offers Art, Culture, Re-creations

Taber -Tiffany windowA stroll through the galleries at the Lycoming County Historical Society in Williamsport, Pa., features works by 19th century still life painter Severin Roesen, magazine illustrator Frances Tipton Hunter, and a member of the Ashcan School of American Art, John Sloan.

Visitors will be swept back in time by viewing a re-created frontier cabin, a Greek Revival Parlor, and the Ralston General Store, as well as the recently-installed canal exhibit and the recently-refurbished Logging and Lumbering Gallery. In addition, they may explore the dynamic history of the region’s Native American culture, the military heritage of the county and the industry of house and home.

It possesses the most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the pre-history, history and culture of Northcentral Pennsylvania and recently received many artifacts from noted local archaeologist James Bressler.

taber Fire Engine (2)A visit to the museum would not be complete without viewing the LaRue Shempp Toy Train Collection! Williamsport native LaRue Shempp began collecting model trains as a child and at the time of his death had amassed a collection of more than 300, many of them one-of-a-kind or extremely rare. The bulk of his collection resides permanently at the Lycoming County Historical Society. Visitors have the opportunity to operate some of the trains.

Executive Director is Gary Parks, who will be among presenters for the International Sports Heritage Association’s Conference. His expertise is in Session 3: “Destination, Community Center … Both?”

Established in 1907, the Society is located in the heart of Williamsport’s Millionaires’ Row, 858 West Fourth St.

It has the distinction of accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a designation reserved for very few museums throughout the United States (One of 34 in Pennsylvania).

In 2001, during a capital campaign, philanthropist Thomas T. Taber III came forward with a check for $1 million dollars, thus prompting the building to be named the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society.

The Community Room of the Historical Society is the site of many activities throughout the year including its very successful Bottles & Brews event with craft beer tastings, its Lecture Series (which draws hundreds of people to participate in lectures on a variety of historical topics), and temporary exhibits.

In October, it will be alive with a display of work by members of one of the clubs that meets regularly at the Society – the Susquehanna Valley Shutterbugs. The North Central Chapter No. 8 of the Society of Pennsylvania Archaeology, the Lycoming County Genealogical Society, and the Bald Eagle Art League.

That’s not all that is available. Click here for links to more great attractions. 

 

The early bird registration discount ends Tuesday, September 22, for the International Sports Heritage Association’s 45th annual conference, “Ahead of the Curve,” which will be hosted by the World of Little League® Museum and Official Store from October 21-23 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

There is a discount of $50 when registering early. Registration is open until October 6. The conference brochure and form can be found here.

Sessions include educational programming, growing your fan base (are you a destination or a community center or both), workplace violence, upgrading exhibits on a small budget and giving your museum store a makeover.  There will be a session about conservation (textiles, leather, paper, metals, etc.) and a workshop to practice. (Remember to bring a small piece of silver to polish and an old shirt or apron to protect your clothing!)

Attending the ISHA conference provides the opportunity to talk with other museum professionals about successes or issues they have experienced. In addition to the common networking opportunities, there will be a Speed Networking session modeled after one offered by the American Alliance of Museums. (Keep a look out for additional information).

Other activities include a visit to the World of Little League Museum and Official Store, an opportunity to “play” on the field where the Little League Baseball World Series is held, a riverboat cruise, tour of Penn State’s All-Sports Museum and Beaver Stadium, and meeting members of the World of Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence and other Pennsylvania champions.

Register soon!

Any questions? Contact Jan at jogurcak@LittleLeague.org

 

 

 

 

While traveling the Road to Williamsport via Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania, Hershey, known as “the sweetest place on earth,” or Lancaster, attendees to the 45th International Sports Heritage Association Conference (Oct. 21-23) may want to consider some side trips. There are a variety of options from museums to amusement parks, to hiking to horse racing and a casino, to the oldest settlement of Amish in the United States, to a wine quest, among others.

Additional information may be found at the following links: