The trivia questions in this post were created by Library of Congress Internship (LOCI) program past participant Katrina Limson, a MLIS student at San Jose State University.
The Washington Nationals are the “team that reads”, but did you know that the city’s Major League Baseball team and the Library of Congress have a partnership that goes back for many years? Visitors to the ballpark can see selections from the exhibit Baseball Americana on the concourse at Nationals Park. Last year, we hit a home run when we added new programs to our partnership. Members of the Informal Learning Office led an interactive performance of Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First skit as part of a monthly Story Time with the team’s Summer Reading Ambassador and partners. Librarian of Congress Dr. Hayden then shared the stage with pitcher Sean Doolittle during Live at the Library—a favor returned at the end of the summer, when Dr. Hayden took to the mound to throw the first pitch at an August game. The partnership continues this summer— join us in-person for Story Time (July 31, August 17, or September 3), Library of Congress Day at the Nationals (August 2), or participate in our Story Time activity from home for the first time, as published below!
On Sunday, June 4, 2023, we kicked off the first Story Time at Nationals Park with more than 400 kids and their families. To highlight the Library’s unique collections, intern Katrina Limson developed a fun baseball trivia game. Test your Library of Congress baseball knowledge! Scroll down past each accompanying photograph for the answer, and for additional information Katrina discovered during her research.
Question #1: What was an early name for baseball?
A. Town ball
B. City ball
C. State ball
D. Land ball
Answer: A. Town ball
Katrina shared with us that she learned from Wikipedia that “town ball was first played in the 1700s. In town ball, there were no foul balls.”
What comes up when you search the term “town ball” in the Library’s collection?
Question #2: Hand signals in Major League Baseball are used because a deaf player couldn’t hear the calls made by the umpire. True or False?
Scroll down as you guess!
According to Katrina, her research on several websites related to Deaf history helped her learn that William Hoy lost his hearing after contracting meningitis as a child. He played for many local D.C. teams. Some baseball historians believe Hoy (and other early deaf players) were influential in the development of hand signals, as they could not hear the umpire’s calls. Below is a baseball card of Hoy from the Library’s collection of baseball cards.
Question #3: The earliest members of the first Washington team were professional baseball players. True or false?
As Katrina learned from this local D.C. publication, the Washington Base Ball Club was formed in 1859 and mostly made up of government officials!
Question #4: What is the most popular food sold at baseball games?
B) Hot dogs
C) Cracker Jack
Answer: B. Hot Dogs
Katrina told us that according to a 2021 press release, “About 20 million hot dogs are consumed every single year at Major League Baseball stadiums.”
Question 5: Who was the first Black professional player in the modern Major League Baseball’s American League or National League?
Answer: Jackie Robinson
The Library boasts a strong collection of materials related to Jackie Robinson, many of which have been made available online here. Explore them with your family! One of our favorites is the comic book below.
Want more baseball trivia? We’ll be at the stadium for future Story Times with the National’s other Summer Reading Partners on July 31 before the 7:00 p.m. game, August 17 before the 4:05 p.m. game, and September 3 before the 1:30 p.m. game.
And for Library fans that can’t get enough baseball, we invite you to join the Library of Congress at Library of Congress Day at the Nationals which will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 2, during the 1:05 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
We’ll have new trivia questions for each program, which we will be posting on this blog. Be sure you are subscribed to Minerva’s Kaleidoscope so you don’t miss a question!