24th Annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture Begins Wednesday

MLB Historian John Thorn to Deliver Keynote Speech on May 30; More Than 50 Papers to Be Presented

May 29, 2012
John Thorn is Major League Baseball’s Official Historian. (Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The excitement and entertainment of the National Pastime meets academia this week as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum hosts the 24th Annual Symposium on Baseball and American Culture May 30-June 1 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The event features more than 50 presentations selected from academic paper submissions across the country, with a wide variety of topics exploring the unique relationship between the National Pastime and American culture. The event is co-sponsored by the State University of New York College at Oneonta and the Hall of Fame.

The 2012 Symposium will begin on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with a keynote address from John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s Official Historian. Thorn will address the topic “Baseball’s Unchanging Past: A Necessary Illusion.”

The Symposium will feature 20 breakout sessions on topics ranging from baseball and the law to baseball in Civil Rights, as well as a featured panel discussion on the business and promotion of baseball.

The Symposium keynote address is open to all Museum visitors on at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Other sessions require registration for the Symposium.

“The link between the National Pastime and American culture dates back more than two centuries,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The fascinating and insightful research conducted by the scholars attending the 24th edition of the Cooperstown Symposium reflects the bond that has always existed between baseball and the United States – and adds to research that aids us all in the understanding of baseball’s impact on our society.”

The Symposium features more than 120 participants representing academic and other institutions from across the United States. Admission for the keynote address is included for all Symposium participants. Registration fee for the 24th annual Cooperstown Symposium is $175 and includes all sessions, a daily continental breakfast, refreshments and a three-day pass to the Hall of Fame. The Symposium also features a Vintage Town Ball Game on May 31, followed by a barbecue chicken dinner. Participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program can register for the three-day event for $160. Additionally, day passes will be sold for each day of the Symposium. A special student rate for undergraduate and graduate students is available for $100 with student ID for the three-day event. Registration is limited.

Registrations will be accepted onsite during the Symposium in the Library Atrium. A full schedule of Symposium events and presentations is available on-line by visiting www.baseballhall.org. For more information, please contact Hall of Fame Librarian Jim Gates at (607)547-0311.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend until the day before Labor Day. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.