Step Up to the Plate winner chosen at Minnesota Twins game; Spring Hills School Library brings in most entries

Contact: Megan Humphrey
Campaign Coordinator
mhumphrey@ala.org
 
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2006

Step Up to the Plate winner chosen at Minnesota Twins game;
Spring Hills School Library brings in most entries

During a pre-game ceremony at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis Monday, September 25, Minnesota Twins mascot TC Bear chose Joseph Kuykendall, age 12, of Andover, Mass., as the grand-prize winner of the Step Up to the Plate @ your library® program.

Developed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped up its first season with the national drawing. Also present on field were officials of ALA, the Hall of Fame and the Minneapolis Public Library.

The winner was randomly chosen from among eligible contestants who correctly answered a series of baseball trivia questions prepared by library staff at the Hall of Fame.

Kuykendall will travel to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame’s World Series Game One Gala on Saturday, October 21. He will also receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum and a baseball autographed by Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, spokesperson for the Step Up to the Plate program.

"I'm so excited," said Kuykendall, an avid baseball fan and aficionado. "It will be so fun to see the Museum behind the scenes and to go to the World Series event."

The other big winner was the Spring Hills School Library in Roselle, Ill. for submitting more than 160 entries.

"I jumped on the program as soon as school started this year. It’s such a motivational experience for the students to have an opportunity to do research for an event outside of our school community," said Media Center Specialist Chris Everhart.

Everhart promoted the program during students’ regularly scheduled library time devoted to developing research skills. She also sent a letter to parents with information about the program and how it fit into the school's literacy curriculum.

The school received a $100 bookstore gift certificate, a copy of Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African American Baseball by Lawrence Hogan (National Geographic Society, 2005); and three copies of Satch & Me by Dan Gutman (2006), donated by HarperCollins.

Step Up to the Plate @ your library celebrates two of America’s oldest institutions -- baseball and libraries -- while heightening awareness of 21st century literacy skills. It featured a nationwide, online baseball trivia competition that challenged participants to answer four questions -- one for each base on a baseball diamond -- by utilizing the resources available at their library.

Contestants who answered four questions from the playbook correctly were entered into a national drawing. Questions were divided into four "playbooks" corresponding to different age groups and were organized by increasing difficulty to test a variety of information literacy levels. Players could mail in their entries or play the game online.

In addition to the grand-prize winner, 20 first-prize winners were drawn prior to the grand-prize ceremony in Minneapolis. Each winner will receive a 2002 Hall of Fame Yearbook, the year Ozzie Smith was inducted; a Hall of Fame t-shirt; a commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame baseball cards; a DVD copy of the classic baseball movie, "The Sandlot;" a miniature souvenir Akadema Pro baseball glove; and an ALA Graphics History Lives @ your library poster featuring Jackie Robinson.

First-place winners include:

  • From the age 10 and under category: Tyler Jones, Nantucket, Mass.; Kristin Barnes, Carmel, Ind.; Nate Reiff, Wheeling, Ill.; Bill Duona, Dickinson, Texas; Andy Larson, Centerville, Ohio
  • From the age 11 to 13 category: Joe Zimmerman, Tipp City, Ohio; Giuliana LaMantia, Carol Stream, Ill.; Kailey Jones, Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Myles W. Schmidt, Moon Township, Pa.; Arty Henderson, Desoto, Mo.
  • From the age 14 to 17 category: J.T. Sherrer, Dearing, Ga.; Elisa Tvete, Burnsville, Minn.; Mikayla Mound, Mundelein, Ill.; Tim Cuffman, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kiirstin Pagan, Windsor Mill, Md.
  • From the age 18 and over category: Paul McCoy, Waukesha, Wisc.; Jeanne-Marie Lombardi-Crociata, Hauppauge, N.Y.; Roseann Bruns, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Peter C. Smith, Succasunna, N.J.; Blake Sellers, Arnold, Mo.

In addition to Spring Hills School Library, the three libraries that brought in the most entries included: Hockessin (Del.) Library; Greenville County (S.C.) Library; and Washington-Centerville Public Library, Centerville, Ohio. Each library won a $50 ALA Graphics gift certificate, a copy of Shades of Glory and three copies of Satch & Me.

The Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, which was available in both English and Spanish, kicked off in April at the St. Louis Public Library and Busch Stadium with help from Smith. It was promoted at libraries across the country and by ALA and the Hall of Fame throughout the spring and summer.

Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries. The Baseball Hall of Fame is a Founding Partner in the Campaign, which is made possible in part by ALA Library Champions. Step Up to the Plate was supported by AASL, ALSC, PLA, REFORMA and ALA’s Black Caucus.

For more information, go to www.ala.org/baseball .