CHICAGO – This past weekend, Hall of Fame relief pitcher Richard “Goose” Gossage was on hand to catch the ceremonial first pitch at the World Series Gala in Cooperstown, N.Y. The pitcher was none other than 13-year-old Josh Smith, the grand prize winner of this year’s Step Up to the Plate @ your library contest.
Smith, who had always dreamed of going to the Baseball Hall of Fame, not only got to throw a pitch to a Hall of Famer, but he landed the trip after 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Andre “The Hawk” Dawson drew his name in the program’s national grand prize drawing less than three weeks ago.
In addition to his memorable throw, Smith received a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and archives, where he had the opportunity to hold Hall of Fame treasures from his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.
As avid library users and baseball fans, the Smith family discovered the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program while visiting their library this summer. The incentive of a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was a big enticement for Smith.
Developed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped up its fifth season with the national drawing. The winner was randomly chosen from eligible contestants who correctly answered a series of baseball trivia questions developed by the Hall of Fame’s library staff.
Season five of Step Up to the Plate @ your library teamed up two American classics - baseball and libraries - to promote the importance of information literacy skills and increase awareness of the library as an essential information resource. People of all ages were encouraged to visit their library and answer a series of trivia questions inspired by the history of our national pastime.
Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of the Campaign for America’s Libraries (www.ala.org/@yourlibrary), ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a partner in the Campaign for America’s Libraries, is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of the game and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.
Other Campaign Partners are the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Disney Book Group, Dollar General, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Univision Radio and Woman’s Day magazine.
For more information, visit www.ala.org/baseball.