News & Events


Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball – and America – Forever 

Discussion and Book Signing with Tim Wendel

October 25, 2018

In conjunction with the exhibition at Whittier College’s Wardman Library, “Bad Moon Rising: Baseball and the Summer of ‘68," the Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary hosted a discussion and book signing with Tim Wendel, author of Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball – and America – Forever. 

In vivid, novelistic detail, Summer of ’68 tells the story of this unforgettable season – the last before rule changes and expansion would alter baseball forever – when the country was captivated by the national pastime at the moment it needed the game most.

A writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, Tim Wendel is a novelist and author who has had 13 books published.  His stories and columns have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, and other publications. He lives in Vienna, Virginia.

This program was made possible, in part, by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 

Lecture: The Stories Behind the Image: The Dodgers Photography of Rich Kee

March 20, 2018

The Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary present “The Stories Behind the Images: The Dodgers Photography of Rich Kee,” a slide presentation and discussion by the man who had the good fortune to serve as the Los Angeles Dodgers team photographer in the 1970s and ’80s.

In addition to recent work, Rich Kee, a graduate of the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, will share a selection of his iconic images and stories from two decades that were highlighted by the transition from Walter Alston to Tommy Lasorda, a record-setting infield, Fernandomania, and a World Series championship in 1981. Rich Kee will be introduced by former baseball executive Fred Claire, who served as the Dodgers’ general manager from 1987 to 1998. 

“The Stories Behind the Images: The Dodgers Photography of Rich Kee” is made possible, in part, by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Light refreshments will be served. 

Lecture: Viva Cuba Béisbol: A Photographic Journey Into the Heart and Soul of Cuban Baseball

Febuary 7, 2018

In conjunction with its exhibition, “Feeling the Heat: Cuba’s Baseball Heritage” (on view in the display cases in the foyer of the Wardman Library from February 3 - March 15, 2018), the Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary present “Viva Cuba Béisbol: A Photographic Journey Into the Heart and Soul of Cuban Baseball,” a lecture/slide presentation by Byron Motley. A Los Angeles-based singer, author, photographer, and filmmaker, Motley will also sign copies of his photo book, Embracing Cuba (University of Florida Press, 2015).

In addition to Byron Motley’s presentation, Whittier College professor and Institute for Baseball Studies co-director Joe Price will speak about his JanTerm course, “Cuba: Baseball as a Caribbean Religion,” and share some of the experiences that he and his students had in Cuba.  

Equal to the Game: Women and Baseball Symposium

March 29, 2017

Featuring a panel of alumnae from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as well as scholarly presentations on women and baseball. 

  • “But It Does Matter If We get to Play,” by Dr. Kat Williams, President of the International Women’s Baseball Center, Associate Professor at Marshall University, and author of The All-American Girls After the AAGPBL: How Playing Pro Ball Shaped Their Lives
  • “Women’s Collegiate Baseball: Then and Now,” by Dr. Callie Batts Maddox, Whittier College alumna and Assistant Professor at Miami (OH) University
  • “Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey [the authorized biography of Ila Borders, former Whittier College student athlete and baseball pitcher for the Poets]” by Jean Ardell, baseball historian and author of Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime.

Lecture: Negro Leagues History and Artifacts

February 8, 2016

There will be a discussion about the history and artifacts of the Negro Leagues with Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Kendrick's main responsibilities are to provide effective leadership, management and operations of the NLBM and the development of the future John "Buck" O'Neil education and Research Center. He is in the process of developing a new exhibit on the life and times of Buck O'Neill in recognition of his 100th birthday.

Lecture: History of African American Baseball Players

February 8, 2016

Presentation by Neftalie Williams, interviewer and photographer of African American baseball players during the first 25 years of integrated baseball in the major leagues.

Over the next few years, it is William's job to interview, record and collect every living African American player from the raging first 25 years of Major League Baseball's racial integration, from 1947-1971. 

James "Mudcat" Grant Honorary Degree Ceremony

February 8, 2016
Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

James “Mudcat” Grant, former top Major League Baseball pitcher and advocate for the history of African Americans in baseball will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Whittier College. This ceremony will precede other daytime events and will the kick off the College’s celebration of Black History Month.

Born in 1935, Grant overcame segregation and discrimination on his journey to become a top pitcher in the American League. He won more than 20 games in one season and was been named to All-Star Team twice. Grant played for the Cleveland Indians, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Oakland Athletics and was been awarded the key to the city in Cleveland, Ohio.

Grant was selected for this honorary doctorate not only for his athletic achievements, but also for his dedication to researching and advocating the history of African-Americans in baseball. Since his retirement, he has worked to ensure that the accomplishments of early black players are remembered in history. In 2006, he released his book The Black Aces, Baseball's Only Black Twenty-Game Winners featuring chapters on other black pitchers who have won 20 games in one season and Negro League players who may have won 20 games if they were allowed to play. Grant also works to build interest in baseball among African-American youth.

Whittier College awards distinctive degrees to those who embody the ambitions, values, and accomplishments of the College. Jim “Mudcat” Grant was chosen for this honor by the faculty. “We are delighted to confer this doctorate of humane letters on an inspiring individual who has made and continues to make an important difference in society,” said Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger.