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Let's Play BALL! Toronto Railway Museum presents "The Crowd Went Wild! Canadian Baseball’s Love Affair with the Railway"
Thursday 17 June 2021, 07:00pm

Bytown Railway Society is sharing events from like-minded non-profit organizations.  Here is one from our friends at the Toronto Railway Museum.

Toronto Railway Museum (TRM), a non-profit organization located in the iconic Roundhouse Park across from the CN Tower, debuts the theme of its third lecture in the 2021 Virtual Lecture Series, Railway Ties: “The Crowd Went Wild! — Canadian Baseball’s Love Affair with the Railway”. The event takes place on Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m. and will be presented by Canada’s premier baseball historian, William (Bill) Humber. 

“Railway Ties aims to stir diverse conversation and curiosity between new audiences; the chance to welcome Bill and spotlight the connection between one of popular culture’s most favourite sports, baseball, and its reliance on rail, is incredibly exciting!”” says Kelly Burwash, manager and curator, TRM. “Being located just a step away from Rogers Stadium and typically seeing a lift of visits on home game days, we really miss our baseball fans!”

Bill Humber entered Canada’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 for championing the game’s history. With his expert knowledge, Bill will share the evolution from its folk roots, to how the railway system helped with the independent growth in Ontario between 1854-1873, to African-Canadian team in 1869 being railway porters, to Babe Ruth starting his epic trip to Japan with a rail stopover in Moose Jaw. 

“The journey of the ball, like the railway, has traveled long and far and I look forward to bringing its story into the homes of Canadians on June 17 to support TRM,” says Bill Humber. As a child growing up in Toronto whose first baseball hero was Rocky Nelson of the minor league baseball club that played in the old Maple Leaf Stadium at the foot of Bathurst, Bill knows all about the area of where the TRM resides. “I couldn’t think of a better match-up; to feature a night dedicated to an aspect incredibly important to connecting and growing the game of baseball — the railway—often diamonds and stadiums would be built on the railway to make it easy to come and go.”

Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards future programming and support the collection, preservation, restoration of Canadian rail artifacts and important historical interpretation at the TRM. 

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on TRM’s website here. VIP tickets are $25 with access to Zoom link, plus a live Q&A with William Humber and Toronto Railway Museum Historians. The first 50 VIP ticket purchasers will receive a Blue Jays’ Hat and all attendees will have the chance to win multiple prizes, including signed Blue Jays’ memorabilia and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada tickets. General admission tickets are $10 with access to live YouTube stream link.

Interviews with Bill Humber and TRM spokespersons, as well as vintage imagery is available upon request.