The James V. Brown Library and the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum are teaming up to offer an exhibition about one of the most lackluster baseball teams known to the sport and managed by Charlie Brown.
His team is comprised of a motley group of uninspired ball players with a dog - Snoopy - as shortstop. Snoopy, as it turns out, is one of the more talented players on a team that can't hit, pitch or field.
Every year for nearly 50 years during baseball season, Charles Schulz sent this hapless crew out to lose game after outlandish game.
The "Peanuts" gang's ill-fated baseball games were based, to a large extent, on "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz's childhood experiences playing sandlot baseball. Baseball was Schulz's favorite childhood sport, but he remembered losing a game once 40-0.
This game, he said, gave him the idea for Charlie Brown's string of losses. Schulz's passion for the game of baseball continued into adulthood.
He played pickup games as often as he could on baseball diamonds he had built at his home and near his studio. Schulz also followed Major League Baseball and was a keen admirer of Willie Mays and other talented professionals.
"Peanuts at Bat," opening on July 20 at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Third St., showcases some of Schulz's most memorable baseball-themed comic strips. Forty-three digital prints from the original drawings by Schulz will be on display, taking the visitor through five decades of the "Peanuts" gang engaged in America's pastime.
Included in the exhibition are vintage "Peanuts" baseball memorabilia: bobblehead dolls, banners and a board game.
Also on display are a Louisville Slugger "Joe Shlabotnik" bat (Shlabnotnik is Charlie Brown's favorite - underperforming - player, who's never actually seen in the strip) and an oversized Snoopy doll decked out in his favorite team uniform. It will be on view at the library until Aug. 8.
The James V. Brown Library is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
The exhibit will move to the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, 525 Route 15 Highway, South Williamsport, and open Aug. 10, less than one week before the start of the Little League Baseball World Series.
A number of figurines featuring the Peanuts gang and a print donated in 1984, by Schulz, all from the Little League Museum's archival collection, will be on display.
The museum's hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum's hours are extended from Aug. 16 through 26 during the Little League World Series. There is no additional charge for the Peanuts display, which will be at the museum through Labor Day, Sept. 3.
On Sept. 4 the museum will close for an extensive renovation project. It will reopen June 6, 2013.
"Peanuts at Bat" is organized and toured by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, Calif.