BAD MOON RISING:
BASEBALL AND THE SUMMER OF ‘68
Exhibition: August 4-September 27, 2012
Burbank Central Library
Address: 110 N.
Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, California
Information: (626) 791-7647 or
The Baseball Reliquary presents “Bad Moon
Rising: Baseball and the Summer of ’68,” an
exhibition chronicling the extraordinary
baseball season of 1968, played out against the
backdrop of one of the most divisive and
turbulent years in American history, marked by
national tragedy and sweeping change, from
August 4-September 27, 2012, at the Burbank
Central Library, 110 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank,
The exhibition is based on Tim Wendel’s
Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed
Baseball—and America—Forever, published
earlier this year by Da Capo Press.
The exhibition utilizes photographs,
artifacts, and documents to illustrate key
elements of Wendel’s research.
Much of the signage, including captions
for photographs, is excerpted from the book.
In the preface to
’68: The Season That Changed Baseball—and
America—Forever, Wendel writes, “In 1968,
the gods were angry.
It’s been called ‘the year that rocked
the world,’ and it rarely showed any mercy.
How else to describe a single year in
which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed by
an assassin’s bullet and weeks later Robert
Kennedy met the same fate?
In which riots broke out in the streets
in cities across the country, and millions
gathered to protest the issues surrounding the
Vietnam War and civil rights, often to be met
with resistance and in some cases brutality.
In which everything boiled over late that
summer in the streets of Chicago.
Thanks to television, our world in 1968
was shrink-wrapped forever.
We were able to view all this on a
nightly basis, with much of it cued up for
Seemingly overnight we had become
Marshall McLuhan’s ‘global village,’ and what we
saw was that things everywhere were unraveling,
being pulled apart at the seams, often with
Among the topics examined in the displays
are the record-setting achievements of pitchers
such as Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and Don
Drysdale, which resulted in the 1968 season
being hailed as the “Year of the Pitcher;”
baseball’s reaction to the assassinations of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and
the refusal of some players to take the field
when baseball commissioner William Eckert
decided not to postpone all games during the
national day of mourning for Kennedy; the
classic World Series matchup between the St.
Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers, and the
importance of Detroit’s championship season in
helping pull the city from the ashes of one of
the worst riots in U.S. history; the story
behind Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano’s
controversial rendition of the national anthem
during the World Series; the 18th and
final major league season for Yankees’ slugger
Mickey Mantle, and the gift that was given him
by one of his biggest fans, Tigers’ pitcher
Denny McLain; and the emergence of football as
the most popular game in America, symbolized by
the public reaction to the “Heidi Game” and
sealed by quarterback Joe Namath leading the New
York Jets to a stunning upset in Super Bowl III.
And even political activist Tom Hayden,
one of the infamous Chicago Seven charged with
conspiracy and inciting to riot at the 1968
Democratic National Convention, is featured in
the exhibition for his unique connection to the
Detroit Tigers and for his love of baseball; in
fact, Hayden, now 72, still plays hardball every
Sunday in Los Angeles, competing against players
half his age.
Library hours for the exhibition are
Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday,
9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00
p.m.; closed Sunday.
For further information, contact the
Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or
by e-mail at
For directions, phone the Burbank Central
Library at (818) 238-5600 during library hours.
The exhibition, which is free of charge,
is made possible, in part, by a grant to the
Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles
County Arts Commission.
SPECIAL PROGRAM WITH AUTHOR TIM WENDEL
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 7:00 P.M.
In conjunction with the exhibition, “Bad Moon
Rising: Baseball and the Summer of ’68,” the
Baseball Reliquary and Burbank Public Library
present a discussion and book signing with Tim
Wendel, author of
’68: The Season That Changed Baseball—and
Wendel will also narrate a PowerPoint
presentation of images from the book.
Tim Wendel is the author of nine books,
High Heat, Far From Home, Red Rain, and
A founding editor of
Baseball Weekly, he has written for
He teaches writing at Johns Hopkins
University and has appeared on CNN, ESPN,
SiriusXM, and NPR, and recently served as an
exhibit advisor to the National Baseball Hall of
He lives in Vienna, Virginia.
The program, which is free of charge and
will be held in the Burbank Central Library
Auditorium, 110 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank,
California, is made possible, in part, by a
grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los
Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the
Los Angeles County Arts Commission.