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Boys of Summer Return July 31

July 1, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the fourth consecutive year Chicago-area baseball fans will have the opportunity to view rare films from the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is located in Cooperstown, N.Y. (For more information on the Baseball Hall of Fame, visit http://www.baseballhall.org.)

The summer screening will feature some of the sport's greatest players, including brief clips of two former Chicago Cubs greats and Baseball Hall of Famers -- Ernie Banks and Billy Williams.

Northwestern University's Block Cinema will screen the baseball footage at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus. The screening is free and open to the public.

The two-hour program will include commentary by David Filipi, film and video curator at Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University. Filipi, the organizer of the program, will introduce each selection of film clips, which he culled from a large selection of footage from the archive at the Baseball Hall of Fame. (For more information on the Wexner Center visit http://www.wexarts.org.)

"Many baseball fans tend to be incredibly nostalgic and a program like this feeds that nostalgia, unlike any other sport," said Filipi. "The way the game was played decades ago is very similar to the way the game is played now and that allows people to make a stronger connection to the players and teams of the past. I try to select film clips that have local interest or that are very entertaining in one way or another. After numerous requests I finally have some great Chicago Cubs clips."

The screening will include footage from a 1956 home movie of Boston Red Sox player Ted Williams; an excerpt from a 1955 "You are There" television episode featuring the New York Yankees Lou Gehrig; an excerpt from a 1958 Boston Red Sox highlight film; and a rare 1946 clip of Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals.

Also screened will be opening day footage of a 1947 game that took place at Griffith Stadium that pitted the New York Yankees against the Washington Senators; and a humorous musical clip from the early 1930s featuring the "Gashouse Gang" (the nickname that was given to the "rough and tumble" St. Louis Cardinals).

For more information, call Northwestern's Block Cinema at (847) 491-4000 or visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.