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Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams exhibit opens today at the Lincoln County Public Library

Photo by Nancy Leedy
THE 1930 MORELAND High School women’s basketball team picture is among the hundreds of sports pictures on display in the Hometown Teams exhibit. Pictured are: Opal Hubble, Leola Rucker, Evelyn Gray, Lida Russell, Stella Graham, Dortha Rucker, Zora Shearin, W.F. Russell (coach, Sydney Hanson and Daisy Vaught. The photo is courtesy of Karen Floro

Every community has its hometown sports heroes.
A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street project is helping to celebrate these local sports heroes — including those right here in Lincoln County — with its traveling Hometown Teams exhibit.
Stanford is one of only 15 towns in Kentucky chosen to host the 2018 traveling exhibit. Hometown Teams, which will explore how sports shape our lives and the many roles athletics play in communities across the country, will be on display at the Lincoln County Public Library (LCPL) beginning today.
“We’re very excited. To be one of 15 towns in the state to be selected to have the opportunity to host an exhibit from the Smithsonian is a real big honor,” LCPL Director Amanda Gearhart said. “We’ve had people bring us all kinds of old pictures, uniforms, old school memorabilia. Even though I’m not native to Lincoln County, it still represents a time I don’t remember. I didn’t go to school when there were all these small schools. You had bigger schools. So to see all these little schools in one community and to see what they meant to people is special.”
Hometown Teams captures the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts, and examines how and why hometown sports are more than just games, including underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats.
For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And if we’re not playing sports, we’re sitting in the stands or gathered on the sidelines cheering as young athletes take their first swing or score their first goal. Let’s not forget, either, the tireless souvenir sales people and those slinging hamburgers and popcorn at concession stands.
And nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns.
“Sharing exhibits from our nation’s premier museum with rural Kentucky communities is an endeavor Kentucky Humanities is passionate about,” said Bill Goodman, executive director. “We knew that Hometown Teams was the perfect exhibit for us to bring to the commmonearlth given the state’s passion for sports.”
The Hometown Teams exhibit will have its grand opening in Stanford today (Thursday) and will be on display until July 7. The exhibit will be open this summer during regular library hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tdoay’s grand opening for the Stanford exhibit is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and coincides with the library’s Summer Reading Kickoff. Veterans will be on site grilling hot dogs for tailgating and there will also be inflatables and games.
Throughout the summer, the library will also have speakers, movie showings, a book discussion and the Farm Olympics to go along with the exhibit. For more information about the events taking place in conjunction with the Hometown Teams exhibit, visit the Lincoln County Public Library online at lcplinfo.org or find them on Facebook, @lincolncountypubliclibrary.
Kentucky Humanities is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For information about Kentucky Humanities programs and services, visit kyhumanities.org. For information about Hometown Teams and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit museumonma