Baseball season is in full swing in Cincinnati and with it comes our latest exhibit, Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American, on view at the museum through October 22nd. Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the exhibit is both entertaining and educational for baseball fans of all ages. Chasing Dreams is an interactive pop-up exhibit that weaves together America’s favorite pastime and national identity with the story of American Jewish immigration and integration. The exhibit explores how baseball, especially for immigrants and minority groups, has played a crucial role in understanding, and sometimes challenging, what it means to be American.
To augment the exhibition, The Mayerson JCC has loaned photographs and artwork that chronicle the history of softball leagues for youth and adults at The Jewish Center. These artifacts attest to the passion for baseball that exists in the Cincinnati Jewish community.
One of the works of art on loan from The Mayerson JCC is a painting by Cincinnati artist Floyd Berg that commemorates the tradition of the men’s modified fast-pitch softball league, still in existence today. Commissioned by the family of Herman Petricoff, who passed away in 1980, the painting depicts a Sunday afternoon game at The Jewish Center on Summit Avenue in Roselawn. Petricoff, a long-time player and coach, appears here as third-base coach. Frank Harkavy (1926—2003) is on the pitcher’s mound. Greg “Giggy” Franklin plays catcher, and Gary Nicolay slides home. Steve Epstein and Johnny Ullner are fielding. Berg also created a limited edition of 300 signed prints of the painting. Berg, who first had a career in advertising, design, and illustration, became a noted portrait and landscape painter, often of Cincinnati subjects.
Baseball runs deep in Cincinnati, and almost everyone has their own baseball memory. We would love to hear your baseball story! We are accepting submissions and will feature them on our website. Find some baseball memories here
and submit your own!