Italian Americans at bat – from sand lots to the major leagues

Arte baseball 010

(Photo): Italian Americans at Bat: From Sand Lots to the Major Leagues.

ARTE ITALIA NEWS RELEASE RENO - Italian Americans at Bat: From Sand Lots to the Major Leagues, a documentary exhibition celebrating many of the most memorable names in baseball, will be on display at arte italia January 17 through May 19, 2013.

A lasting impact has been made by Italian Americans on the sport, but equally important is the extent to which baseball contributed to the Americanization of Italians.  Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Tony Lazzeri, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa prevailed over America’s favorite pastime, despite bias and ridicule.  Italian Americans at Bat honors their contributions, and those of 450 others who have left an indelible imprint on the game.

“The opportunity to showcase the adversity and accomplishments of legendary Italian American baseball players is one we welcome and relish,” said Kristen Avansino, President and Executive Director of arte italia.  “Particularly extraordinary is the vast number of major league players of Italian descent from the west coast.  Northern Nevada boasts some of the most enthusiastic baseball fans, and they will truly enjoy this exhibit!”

The exhibition will highlight several decades:  the early days of redefining cultural stereotypes, transcending national barriers in the 30s and 40s, improbable triumphs of the 50s, 60s and 70s, the pride of the modern era, and ultimately, a dominant presence in the Hall of Fame.

On display in arte italia’s Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci galleries will be vintage jerseys, coveted memorabilia such as Tony LaRussa’s 2011 World Series jersey, press accounts of career milestones, an interactive touch screen featuring player memoirs, statistics, and career highlights, as well as over 200 archival photographs of some of the great moments in baseball.

Founded in Reno, NV and operated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, arte italia promotes the exploration and conservation of Italian culture through innovative exhibitions of classic Italian art and culinary programs featuring renowned Italian chefs.  Located at 442 Flint Street, arte italia is open Thursday through Sunday Noon- 5:00 p.m.  Admission is free.

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