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All are welcome to attend the Friends of the Columbus Public Library for their Annual Meeting Sunday, April 19 at 2pm. Listen to Jeff Barns present and learn more about joining the Friends of the Library.
On Sunday, April 19 at 2pm, in the Columbus Public Library Auditorium, history author and speaker Jeff Barnes will present on one of the most unusual and storied baseball fields in Nebraska. Rushville’s Modisett Ball Park was built by ranchers and went on to host a nationally famous baseball school, sponsored by the Milwaukee Braves and New York Yankees, which saw a southpaw from Gering, Nebraska, who struck out Mickey Mantle. In 2014, the ball park underwent a complete restoration for the park’s 75th anniversary, in large part funded by a Nebraska publisher who grew up in Rushville and played at the ball park as a boy.
“It’s truly incredible for a town of less than 900 people to have such a storied park,” said Barnes, “and even more incredible for the park to be rebuilt for a second 75 years. But it’s a wonderful tale of how the right people in the right community taking the right actions can come together to create a shrine to the great American pastime.”
The 45-minute presentation includes historic images and stories of Rushville’s relationship with baseball. The talk is taken from Barnes’s new book, Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park.
A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes lives and writes in Omaha. He is a board trustee with the Nebraska State Historical Society, former chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and one of the top-requested speakers with Humanities Nebraska. He is the author of Forts of the Northern Plains, The Great Plains Guide to Custer, and The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill.
This program is sponsored by a grant from Humanities Nebraska.