University of Pittsburgh
June 29, 2006

Pitt Experts Available for Stories Related to MLB All Star Game


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Pittsburgh will be in the national spotlight when it hosts the 2006 Major League Baseball (MLB) All Star Game July 11. The following University of Pittsburgh experts are available for stories related to the midsummer classic:

Rob Ruck, Pitt faculty member and sports historian, helped design Highmark Legacy Square, the new interactive exhibit at PNC Park honoring Pittsburgh's Negro Leagues. He is the cowriter and coproducer of The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game. The film, based on Ruck's award-winning book, The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic (Mecklermedia, 1991; Carroll & Graf, 1993; and University of Nebraska Press, 1999), premiered at the San Diego Latino Film Festival during the March 2006 Baseball World Cup finals. Ruck also is the author of Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh (University of Illinois Press, 1993). He was project director, producer, and writer of Kings on the Hill: Baseball's Forgotten Men, a documentary about the Negro Leagues and the role of sports in the Black community, for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural Programming in 1994.

Dan Santoro, associate professor of sociology at Pitt's Johnstown campus (UPJ), says baseball, or "America's Game," is a significant part of our culture. Santoro's research focuses on many facets of American pop culture. He is developing a college course called Sports and Society that will be taught at UPJ. He also teaches courses on gender, wealth and power, political sociology, environmental sociology, and class structure. Santoro can discuss why the All Star Game is particularly noteworthy and what it symbolizes in our culture.

As vice president of economic development for MPC Corporation, Donald Smith serves as a Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University liaison to a number of economic development organizations. Smith is available to comment on what the All Star Game means to the local economy and how the region will benefit. He says the Pittsburgh region has a powerful story of revitalization and economic transformation to tell, and that the media and visitors to Pittsburgh provide a critical outlet for telling that story. Smith is also vice chair of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and serves on the boards of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation, Schenley Golf Operating Corporation, Edgewood Country Club, and The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.

Related news item:

David Maraniss, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his Washington Post articles on Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, will participate in a "Meet and Speak" on his new book, Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero (Simon & Shuster, 2006), at noon July 11 in the Pitt Book Center, 4000 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Maraniss presents the first full-scale biography of Clemente, who in 1954 was the number one draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He joined the Pirates in 1955 and played his entire 18-year major league baseball career for the team, until his death in 1972. Clemente was killed in a plane crash while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Maraniss' book provides new details of the crash.