Wisconsin student selected as grand-prize winner of Step Up to the Plate @ your library

Contacts: Megan McFarlane

Campaign Coordinator



Brad Horn

Senior Director

Communications and Education

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum




For Immediate Release

October 14, 2008

CHICAGO – Thanks to a trip to his local library, 11-year-old Oscar Youngquist is about to take another journey – this time to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith drew Youngquist’s name 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, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped its third season with the national drawing. The winner was randomly chosen from among eligible contestants who correctly answered a series of baseball trivia questions developed by the Hall of Fame’s library staff.

As the grand-prize winner, Youngquist, a Chicago Cubs fan from Racine, Wis., will travel with a family member to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Hall of Fame’s World Series Gala on Saturday, Oct. 25. He will also receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and archives.

“We make tremendous use of the library,” said Grant Youngquist, Oscar’s father. Grant had begun to use the Racine Public Library for home schooling resources, and the Step Up to the Plate display really hit home.

The library promoted the program with a book display in the adult department, which featured books on Racine’s baseball history, including the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Baseball League. The library drew further attention to the program by linking to Step Up to the Plate @ your library on its Web site and blog, and by sending press releases to the local media. Directions on how to register online and paper entry forms were made available on the library’s bulletin board.

“All Oscar talks about is baseball,” said Grant. “He couldn’t be more excited about going to the Hall of Fame.”

Step Up to the Plate @ your library teams up two American pastimes - baseball and libraries - to encourage fans of all ages to use the print and electronic resources at their library to answer a series of trivia questions. This year’s program celebrated the 100th anniversary of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Contestants who answered four questions from the playbook correctly were entered into the national drawing.

In addition to the grand-prize winner, 20 first prize winners were drawn prior to the grand-prize ceremony in Cooperstown. Each winner will receive a commemorative hardbound copy of the “Hall of Fame Yearbook;” A copy of “Baseball's Greatest Hit: The Story of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’” by Andy Strasberg, Bob Thompson and Tim Wiles; a Hall of Fame T-shirt; a commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame baseball cards; a miniature souvenir Akadema Pro baseball glove; and an ALA Graphics “History Lives” poster featuring Jackie Robinson.

First-place winners include:

  • In the age 10 and under category: Kevin Jacob Nitz, New Berlin, Wis.; Cooper G. Babcock, Gilbert, Ariz.; Parker Burbridge, Kirkland, Wash.; Sophia Timm, Appleton, Wis.; Justin Debord, Locust Grove, Ga.
  • In the age 11 to 13 category: Matthew Gehne, Racine, Wis.; Tim Parent, Levittown, Penn.; Samantha Tierney, Wilmette, Ill.; Carly Few, Greer, S.C.; Benjamin John Duncan, Tucson, Ariz.;
  • In the age 14 to 17 category: John McDonough Fisher, Hockessin, Del.; Jed Taylor, Urbana, Ohio; Ashley Gragg, Swannanoa, N.C.; Michaela Brenner, Guy Mills, Penn.; Jonathan Oyer, Murrieta, Calif.
  • In the 18 and over category: Donna M. Feder, Oak Park, Calif.; Judy Waters, Orangeburg, N.Y.; Brian Mulligan, Mahwah, N.J.; Alonso Zaragoza, Chicago; Phylis Liscum, Yorktown, Va.

The Step Up to the Plate @ your library program kicked off in Mobile, Ala., where spokesperson Ozzie Smith appeared on field at Hank Aaron Stadium, home of the minor league Bay Bears. Smith also spoke with students at the Baker High School library.

Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, which is made possible in part by ALA Library Champions, ALA’s highest level of corporate members.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 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.

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a Campaign Partner. Other Campaign Partners include Dollar General, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Woman’s Day magazine.

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