Tempe Body Shop Discusses Museum Role of Sports Series
TEMPE HISTORY MUSEUM HONORS LEGACY, CULTURE OF SPORTS IN PHOENIX
The culture, teachings and thrills of organized athletics have always thrilled the Tempe body shop staff, and residents of Tempe and all throughout Phoenix’s Valley of the Sun.
The fascination with sports starts often as early as childhood Little League baseball competition, builds through involvement in high-school pursuits of basketball, football, wrestling and other athletic contests, and then builds to continued fascinations with the Arizona State University Sun Devils, the numerous Major League Baseball organizations that call Phoenix their spring-training home, the annual Phoenix Marathon, and other thrilling athletic happenings.
The Tempe History Museum welcomes an ongoing Third-Thursday lecture series examining various sports’ roles in Tempe’s community evolution. Launched in September with a survey of ASU women’s sports from Sun Devil softball coach Craig Nicholson, these monthly gatherings begin every Third Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Tempe History Museum’s 809 E. Southern Ave. location adjacent to the Tempe Public Library.
The six remaining lectures provide an extensive array of perspectives on Tempe’s sporting legacy:
- Oct. 17: ASU Sports History – Looking as far back as ASU’s prior history as Tempe Normal School, this lecture is highlighted by early photos bringing Tempe’s earliest sports teams to life and remembrances from Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert author Shane Dale, as well as Rob Spindler’s discussion of the legacy of the annual Fiesta Bowl.
- Nov. 21: Mega Sports at Tempe Beach Park – Few Phoenix locales could tell the tales of testing endurance athletes that Tempe Beach Park could if its grounds could talk. The facility hosts Tempe’s Ironman Arizona triathlon, PF Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon and Pat’s Run annually. Tempe Tourism Office representative Stephanie Nowack, and Pat’s Run/The Tillman Foundation’s Sandy Flynn look back at history and forward to the future.
- Jan. 16: ASU Stadium District and Sun Devil Stadium Plans – The vaunted ASU venue is a signature Phoenix epicenter for massive sports clashes. ASU’s Real Estate Development Office representatives discuss plans for the area’s future.
- Feb. 20: Tempe Spring Training – To baseball fans, it’s like a second helping of Christmas Eve. Every year, Major League clubs descend upon Phoenix to ready themselves for a 162-game marathon race to the World Series in October. Cactus League: Spring Training author Susie Steckner joins Tempe Diablo stadium manager Jerry Hall to remark on what Spring Training Baseball has meant over the years to Tempe.
- April 17: Baseball at the WWII Japanese Internment Camps – In one of the lesser-told stories of how sports changed and were changed by the societal shifts of WWII, Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer author Bill Staples, Jr. shares the stories of how baseball became a part of the culture of Arizona’s Japanese internment camps.
- May 15: Sports and Playtime – To round out the series, Jeff Golner will deliver his impression’s of Arizona’s Big Surf “ocean”; Arizona Republic writer Richard Ruelas remembers Tempe’s Legend City amusement park; and Dave Bucher details the inception of the city’s Kiwanis Wave Pool.
For more information, visit www.tempe.gov/museumevents. No registration required to attend, and all events are free to the public.