Linking Culture, Content, and Community With BaseBall ( and Geography)

Blog Post created by BBSutton on Apr 29, 2017
The National Museum of African American History and Culture uses artifacts to teach.

I noted that the sports area is very heavily trafficked and kids and adults go there to celebrate achievement in sports. Here are the artifacts in Baseball. So interesting and exciting. You need to know the links to the online because getting into the museum is difficult. Museums are digitized and no longer static. Look at this baseball.

Baseball signed by the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers team. There is lost history in the space of minority learning and with

ESRI and the museum we can teach and learn. Did you know that there were:

New York Black Yankees, American, 1932 - 1948

I have been pursuing the history of the Negro League to be able to map the true extent of involvement. In my history I have passed by quite a few of the places where the games were held without knowing what the purpose of the stadium was. The league was truly national. How they arranged travel was mostly by bus. Some teams migrated from one area to another in a year. I found a flat map which is interesting, but is not interactive. So the task is to create the interactive map.


The students will learn the geography of the Negro Leagues in the US  . One of the teams in New Jersey , was White.

There was a Cuban team in the league as well.


It is easy in SW ,Washington DC to get kids interested in the real game. Sports equipment will do that. We also live in the shadow of the National Stadium and free or low cost tickets are easy to get through neighborhood assembly groups. The players come to schools and do outreach.


But how will the game affect academics?

We can map the teams that would have been considered local.

We can learn how a bat and a baseball are made 

We can interview members of the Nats, and if we can find them, members of  Old Negro League.

We can investigate how the stats are kept for players and teams.

.What is the geography of all baseball? Where is it played?


We can have the youth play games.


How is a bat made? Making a Baseball Bat 


Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, text and outdoor


We know that blacks were not allowed to eat in most states in dining places and fast food was not a given.

What did they eat at the Black Parks?Who has the recipes ?

To get community interest we can sponsor an event , a pot luck gathering at a local softball game or gathering.



But about math and stats. If you look at the poster above. You can see that we encourage sportsmanship with academics. We want the youth to be athletic but also academically and socially adequate.


How? Inquiry

How wood becomes a baseball bat! If you think a baseball bat is a pretty simple thing, well you're out in the left field. Making a bat means balancing things like weight and thickness. The material it's made from can make a difference. Metal bats hit the ball farther. However, the pros use wooden bats because of league regulations and even the type of wood might impact the score.(Wikipedia  )


What is a baseball , how is it made?  How do you make a baseball glove? 


How about a Game on the Computer or Phone?


Title:     Summer Slugger

Category:  K-6 Education

Platform:     Web Browser

Game length: 3-4 hours, delivered in 5-10 minute daily play sessions.




Every summer, students take a 2-3 month break from school, resulting in crucial knowledge loss from no practice. English Language Arts (ELA) and Math are two of the most critical learning topics, where without ongoing practice, students lose critical progress over the summer. Providing learning games available to everyone, and not requiring parent involvement, levels the playing field regardless of socioeconomic background and makes 4th/5th grade summer learning fun. So  Summer Slugger, an educational, baseball-themed program, was designed to prevent summer learning loss. The well-crafted instructional design and casual game play are successfully married to engage students to keep them actively learning outside of the classroom in the summer months. The program includes extensive use of game-play, narrative, mechanics, and rewards, reaching students between 4th and 5th grade.


Other Info:

This game is being distributed into thousands of schools across the United States. Here is a promotional video:



First you get the interest , then you do the geography. Moving from a collaboration of ideas to Geoinquiries should be a piece of cake. Charlie Fitzpatrick says, "Education is a process of engagement, not of delivery. Technology has brought many opportunities for engagement, but not all students have had the chance to build the tech skills so important for today and tomorrow." 

So sometimes we flip the learning experiences.

Will they want to map ?