We typically hold an ISHA Members Meeting during the Annual Conference.  Because the 50th ISHA Annual Conference has been rescheduled to 2021, we will conduct the 2020 Members Meeting virtually, via WebEx.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. ET.  We invite you to join us to hear reports from ISHA Committee Chairs on their activities over the past year, as well as future initiatives.  The annual Board elections will be conducted, and the ISHY Awards will be presented.

If you wish to participate in the ISHA Members Meeting, please RSVP to me at [email protected] with your name, institution, and email address.  You’ll receive an email with a link to the meeting a few days in advance.  Meeting documents, including an agenda, minutes from the 2019 meeting, and financial reports, will be emailed to the ISHA Listserv prior to the meeting.

We regret not being able to gather in person this year, but hope you’ll join us on October 21 and meet with your colleagues virtually.

The Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, was selected as the International Sports Heritage Association member recipient of a $2,000 Special Project Grant made available through the organization’s Founders Fund.

The funds are to be used by the Museum to purchase supplies for its “Cabinets of Curiosity to Curated Exhibits” project. Another $1,820 is pledged by the museum to pay for salaries.
The Baseball Heritage Museum needs interpretive copy for its artifacts, Julia DiBaggio, grant coordinator for the Museum, wrote in its application.

The project will address the absence of interpretation by researching, writing, creating, and installing artifact labels and interpretive copy that focuses on the museum’s extensive Negro League, Industrial League and Hispanic and Latin American League collections. Culminating with signage, the project will establish a deliberate narrative highlighting the cultural and societal struggles faced by the various leagues.

The project will propel the Museum from a state which borders on cabinet of curiosity to an institution that delivers a powerful and timely narrative of cultural struggles within baseball’s past that echoes throughout history, DiBaggio explained. Museum Director and  Curator Ricardo Rodriguez will head the research team with assistance from Programing Director  Regan Starks.

There were a total of six applications for the Special Project Grant, Janice L. Ogurcak, Grant Committee chair, announced. Applicants who did not receive funding this year, may apply in the next round. All of the applicants have important projects, she said. The applications are reviewed by the Grant Committee and its top selection is presented to the ISHA Board of Directors for approval.

Money for the Founders Fund typically is raised through a Silent Auction, Reverse Raffle, donations, and other fund-raising ventures held at the annual conference and throughout the year. The Covid-19 Pandemic interrupted most of those plans.

Instead, the Founders Fund Committee plans to host an online auction (details to be announced soon) to buoy its coffers. Anyone wishing to donate a package or item for the auction should contact Janice L. Ogurcak, chair of the Founders Fund Committee, at [email protected]. Last year’s Special Projects Grant was awarded to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame to rehouse the Museum’s oldest collection of rodeo and Wild West Show artifacts: the Hafley-Shelton Collection.

With the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically impacting the world and forcing the postponement of the 2020 International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) conference scheduled for October at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., ISHA moved to a virtual mini-conference.

Over two days, on August 18-19, ISHA hosted four educational sessions with a focus on operating sports heritage facilities during this unprecedented time.

“The conference committee was able to pivot and move from an in-person conference scheduled for October to the virtual sessions we hosted in August,” conference committee chairperson Jordan Poland said. “We felt like it was important to schedule those sessions sooner than October as our members have either recently re-opened or are planning to do so soon. The sessions were related to the times in which we find ourselves living.”

The virtual conference included sessions on fundraising and the future of hands-on exhibits on the first day while shifting to re-opening protocols and virtual education experiences on the second day.

For links to the recorded sessions, visit ISHA University here.

Former ISHA president Peter Webster and President and CEO of Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade presented on fundraising during uncertain times. Session two focused on technology and the future of hands-on experiences with John Roberson from Advent and Brad Baer from Bluecadet presenting. Day two started with Dana Hart from the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and John Doleva from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame presenting about re-opening under different state guidelines and safety protocols. The sessions ended with Bruce Markusen from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Jacob Ray from the Pro Football Hall of Fame explaining their virtual education offerings and processes. The conference officially ended with a Wednesday night virtual social.

“We’d like to thank all our presenters who were incredibly helpful,” Poland said. “We had outstanding participation from our members around the world and the sessions were incredibly informative and a great success.”

The 2021 ISHA conference will be held October 27-29, 2021 in Newport, R.I.

Fred Curts is the reason there is senior baseball in Holdfast! Driving into this small community the first thing you see are the three [3] beautiful baseball diamonds, particularly the senior diamond. Credit for this goes to Fred Curts for the numerous volunteer hours he spends weeding, trimming, edging, watering and spraying Holdfast’s baseball diamonds.

In 1993 he approached the Knights of Columbus to sponsor a baseball team. Thus, the Holdfast Knights took to the diamonds. Since that time, Fred has coached Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget baseball in both AA and AAA divisions.

Over the years following, many of these teams were League Champions, Provincial Finalists and Provincial Champions.

2004- Holdfast Pee Wee League Champions-Coach-Fred Curts.
2004- Holdfast Mosquito League Champions-Coach-Fred Curts.

1992- Provincial Bantam “D” Silver Medalists-Coach Fred Curts.
1994- Provincial Midget “C” Silver Medalists-Coach-Fred Curts.
1995- Provincial Atom “C” Silver Medalists-Coach-Fred Curts.
2003- Provincial Mosquito A2 Silver Medalists-Coach-Fred Curts.

2001- Provincial Midget A 2 Champions-Coach- Fred Curts.
2002- Provincial Midget A 2 Champions-Coach-Fred Curts.

Being very knowledgeable and technical, his teaching is very thorough, going to great lengths to correct swings, batting stances, throwing and running bases. He tries to instill his passion for the game into the players. To Fred, playing baseball is a privilege.

“Fred Curts is considered the “Champion” for the sport of baseball in Holdfast and surrounding area.” Dale Measner, Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, Regina. [2011]

“Fred Curts’ commitment to baseball for the past 20 + years is truly remarkable.” Don Pankewich, Commissioner Qu’Appelle Valley Baseball League.[2011]

“Fred Curts spent countless hours working on the baseball diamond to make it an impressive playing field that rivals most city diamonds, as well as building Holdfast into a baseball town with his creation of successful teams in very competitive leagues.” Marty Metz [2011]

“Fred Curts was instrumental in providing the town with a great baseball diamond for teams to enjoy years to come.” Dale Measner [2011]

2011-Fred coached the Moose Jaw Junior Eagles.
2012- Moose Jaw Provincial Junior Eagles Silver Medalists, Coach- Fred Curts.
2013- Arm River Junior Indians-played in the Qu’Appelle Valley Baseball League
2013- Provincial AAA Senior Champions [A Junior team]-Coach- Fred Curts.
2013- Western Canadian Provincial Silver Medalists. Coach-Fred Curts.
2014- Senior AAA Arm River Indians-Coach- Fred Curts.
2015- Senior AAA Arm River Indians.Competed in Provincials.Coach-Fred Curts


Joe McDonald Award of Merit
2010-Saskatchewan Baseball Association Annual Award.

We hope this note finds you all healthy and well. Many of us remain closed as we work through some phased re-openings within our individual states or countries while others have opened with safety restrictions in place. International Sports Heritage Association members have shared their experiences with fellow members during this health crisis and it’s one of the many reasons that ISHA remains vibrant and strong. Members helping members is at the organization’s core.

Unfortunately, we are writing to inform you that the 2020 ISHA Conference scheduled for October 21-23 in Newport, R.I., will be rescheduled for October 27-29, 2021. The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport will remain our conference host for the new 2021 dates.

The 2020 ISHA Conference Committee, which surveyed the membership regarding travel to the 2020 conference, utilized that data received and recommended to the Board of Directors to reschedule ISHA’s 50th conference to 2021. The Board voted unanimously to adopt that recommendation. We can assure you that this decision was not made lightly, but we needed to be sensitive to the health and safety of our members as well as the effects that COVID-19 has had on members’ budgets and the resulting travel restrictions.

We realize that ISHA plays an important role in providing networking and educational opportunities and we accept that these are unprecedented times in our world. It’s important for you to know that we remain committed to serving ISHA members to the best of our ability. In that vein, we will be moving forward with planning a two-day virtual mini-conference with two sessions per day on August 18-19, 2020. We will also include a virtual networking social event and the presentation of the 2020 ISHY Awards. The sessions will focus on COVID-19 related information to help us progress positively and successfully through the challenges we all face together. (To register for the free virtual conference, please click here)

The theme of the virtual conference is Back in the Game, and we hope to have a high participation rate as we bond and forge forward with the goal of adapting so that we may continue delivering entertainment through sports heritage in a meaningful and educational way.

We know it’s a cliché to say that we are all in this together, but through our ISHA connection, those words ring true. We send our best to you as we progress deeper into 2020. When details regarding the August sessions are finalized, we will distribute that information to you.

Please stay healthy and safe.

Bryan Morry
ISHA Board President
The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon Technologies

Jordan Poland
2020 Conference Committee Chairperson
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

Meredith Richards
2020 Conference Host
International Tennis Hall of Fame

The International Sports Heritage Association Board of Directors is saddened by the recent events occurring across the United States. Sports have always provided a vehicle to bridge social change and unite people. Many athletes – past and present – use their available forum to advocate for social justice. Diverse locker rooms often represent the melding of different races that see past unnecessary divides to build strong bonds. The relationships built and lessons learned through sports at all levels can serve as an example for the world at large. For almost 50 years, ISHA has promoted sports heritage as a medium to operate and promote institutions that share history and the athletes that made it. Unfortunately, one of our members, The College Football Hall of Fame, was damaged during protests in Atlanta, Ga. While we send our heartfelt best to The College Football Hall of Fame as it undergoes repairs and prepares, once again, to serve and entertain the public, we also acknowledge that the unrest in America transcends sports. As the world works through a pandemic and social unrest, we certainly hope that sport and its many influencers can serve as a beacon for reunification, re-opening, peace and a new and necessary dialogue.

The International Sports Heritage Association is pleased to announce that it is taking applications for a Special Project Grant for 2020. Up to $2,000 is available.

In these uncertain times as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Board of Directors and the Grant Committee realize that projects at member organizations need to continue. Therefore, the Special Project grant recipient will be announced in August.

“With all of our institutions closed because of the Coronavirus, and as world leaders strategize a safe re-opening strategy, we are trying to keep ISHA business flowing as normal as possible for our members,” ISHA Board President Bryan Morry said. “We continue to follow all guidelines and examine scenarios as they unfold, but the board felt strongly that the Special Project grant should be awarded as it annually has been thanks to donations to the Founders’ Fund that supports all ISHA grants.”

Past projects include preservation of a Western Show collection at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy, improved storage for the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame and Museum, and a digitization project at the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

Applications for member Conference Travel Grants and Conference-only grants will be made available as soon as Directors determine the status of the annual Conference planned for October in Newport, RI. Conference planning continues with a decision on its status to be made no later than August 15.

The Special Project Grant is supported through the ISHA Founders’ Fund and helps finance museum activities intended to address at least one of the following:

· Increase collection capacity

· Increase public access

· Improve documentation

· Increase awareness

· Improve preservation

· Increase interpretation

The grant is available to all regular institutional members of ISHA. Preference will be given to those in most financial need. Additional eligibility requirements are listed on the grant application. The application may be found on the ISHA Website at https://sportsheritage.org/isha-grants/ and should be submitted prior to June 30 at [email protected].

Applicants may receive a maximum of one (1) Special Project Grant within a five-year period. A grant will only be awarded once for any specific topic within an organization.

Personal and corporate Founders Fund donations may be made by contacting Karen Bednarski, executive director, at 541-991-7315 or at ISHA, PO Box 1321, Danville, KY, 40423. Donations and money raised through a Silent Auction and Reverse Raffle support the Founders Fund.

We understand that this is a difficult time for many individuals and organizations in our membership but wanted to give an update concerning the 50th ISHA Conference, scheduled for October 21-23, 2020, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. The Conference Committee has been meeting diligently and is still planning and preparing for the conference on that date. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic impact on many of our organizations, we are also aware that hosting our conference as we have historically done might not be a possibility this year.

A determination on whether or not the 50th ISHA Conference will take place in Newport in October 2020 will be made by the ISHA Board of Directors no later than August 15, 2020. Until that determination is made, the Conference Committee will continue to work as normal to host the Conference during the regularly scheduled time.

If we cannot host the 50th ISHA Conference as scheduled, provisions will be made for a “virtual conference” this year.

Regardless of how it happens, the ISHA Conference Committee is determined to provide the membership with the best possible continuing education experience that we can. We continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and remain hopeful that we will all be able to get together in Newport while also preparing for virtual education sessions. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, about this year’s 50th ISHA Conference, please don’t hesitate to call or email anytime.