Play ball! Allison-Antrim Museum’s summer exhibition highlights the career of Franklin County’s own Nellie Fox, Major League baseball player. Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox (December 25, 1927 – December 1, 1975) lived in and grew up in St. Thomas, Franklin County, PA. He played for the St. Thomas American Legion baseball team. Nellie did not finish high school because at the age of 16, Connie Mack signed him to play for the Philadelphia Athletics minor league team. Included in the exhibit is the letter that Connie Mack wrote to Nellie’s mother Mae Fox.
Fox played for the Athletics for three years – 1947 through 1949; the Chicago White Sox – 1950 through 1963; and finished his playing career (1964 and 1965) with the Houston Colt .45s, which then changed its name in 1965 to the Houston Astros. Nellie’s Chicago uniform number “2” was retired upon his retirement from baseball.
In 1957, only one Gold Glove was awarded per position, between the National and American Leagues. Fox was selected to receive that “one” second baseman Gold Glove in 1957, for “superior individual fielding performance.” In 1958, Gold Glove awards began to be given within each major league. Nellie won two more Gold Gloves as second baseman in 1959 and 1960 and became the first, second baseman to win more than once from either league and the 1960 Gold Glove dubbed him the first, second baseman to win “three.” In 1959, he led the White Sox to the 1959 World Series and because of his performance that season, Nellie was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Fox was the third-most difficult hitter to strike out in Major League Baseball history. In 19 seasons, he only had 216 strikeouts. To date (2018), Fox holds the Chicago White Sox record of playing the most consecutive games, i.e. 798, which at his retirement, is the sixth most in the history of the Major Leagues. Nellie’s spectacular career led him to be selected for 13 All-Star Teams.
In 1975, Nellie Fox was diagnosed with cancer and died December 1, 1975. Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox was inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 1997. Joanne Fox, Nellie’s wife, received the award and upon accepting it said, “He played with all his heart, all his passion, and with every ounce of his being — that was the best way he could show his appreciation to all those who helped him learn the game that became his life.”
This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of Joanne Fox, Fayetteville, PA and Justin Mayhue, Hagerstown, MD. The exhibit includes memorabilia from Chicago and Houston, game-used bats, a game-worn cap, many photographs including Nellie with Yogi Berre and Brooks Robinson, baseball cards, a 1961 Chicago White Sox team-signed ball, a letter from Nellie to Joanne while he was serving during the Korean War, and much more. In addition to Nellie Fox memorabilia, is Early Wynn’s May 25, 1954 ball and glove, noting Wynn’s 23rd, two-hit game, while playing for the Indians and a game-used Minnie Minosa bat. Wynn and Minosa were teammates with Fox in Chicago.
There’s no admission charge to the Museum but donations are accepted. The Museum is open regularly Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 pm and Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm. For more information, please visit: www.greencastlemuseum.org, Facebook, on Twitter @greencastlemuzm, or call 717-597-9010.
Totem Pole Playhouse will offer a special benefit screening of the feature film Johnny Got His Gun this Sunday, July 15th at 7PM at the Playhouse in Fayetteville, PA. The film stars actor Ben McKenzie from the current FOX television series Gotham, as well as past TV series Southland and The O.C. Totem Pole’s Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph, directed the movie which was produced through his film production company Greenwood Hill Productions.
The movie is a filmed version of the 1982 Off-Broadway play based on the Award-winning novel, rather than a remake of the 1971 movie which Trumbo wrote and directed himself. Trumbo’s version won the Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Clips of the film were used by the group Metallica in their 1989 music video for the song “One” which was based on the novel as well.
“What appealed to me about the project was not only its anti-war theme but the fact that the screenplay is very pro-soldier. While it does a great job presenting the book’s most famous anti-war passages, it gets just as much power, if not more, from the main character’s unflinching resolve to overcome his situation,” said McKenzie. “Even though the film takes place in World War I, it is sadly still relevant today. The movie demonstrates so beautifully the fact that you can be both for the soldiers and against the war; that they are not two opposing points of view.”
Joseph noted that the dedication at the end of the movie reads: This film is a testament to the noble sacrifice of those who fight our wars for us and a reminder of the solemn responsibility of those who choose to send them. “Unlike the original film which showed the main character’s world from the outside looking in; this version of the story, like the novel itself, is presented entirely in the first person,” Joseph explained. “From the beginning and throughout the film we see him as he sees himself; in his mind’s eye, healthy, youthful, trapped.”
McKenzie plays Joe Bonham, a young American soldier hit by an artillery shell on the last day of the First World War. As a quadruple amputee who has lost his eyes, ears, nose and mouth, he lies in a hospital bed but remains conscious and able to reason. He struggles to find some way to communicate with the outside world. Tapping his head in Morse code, he breaks through and pleads with his caretakers to be put on display as a living example of the cost of war. The film explores the interplay between science, medicine, religion, and politics.
Marshall Fine, former four-time chairman of the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle wrote in his review of the film, “Joseph’s version, while packing the same emotional power, is a more poetic, more imaginative version.” Dennis Harvey writing for Variety called the movie, “a thrilling accomplishment.”
Bradley Rand Smith adapted the play from Trumbo’s 1939 novel, which has sold over a hundred million copies worldwide and had several major reissues since it was first published just two days after the outbreak of World War II. The stage play was first presented Off-Broadway in 1982 at the Circle Repertory Theatre where it starred Jeff Daniels who won an Obie Award for his performance.
Joseph will conduct a question and answer session with the audience after the screening. McKenzie is currently working on the fifth and final season of Gotham and will not attend.
All general admission seats are $25.00 with the proceeds will go towards Totem Pole’s ongoing Capital Campaign. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (717) 352-2164 or online at www.totempoleplayhouse.org
The public is invited to participate in the 15th Annual Tim & Susan Cook Memorial 1-Mile Race/Walk on July 14 to help raise scholarship funds for Chambersburg high school seniors.Held annually, the race honors the memory of Tim and Susan Cook who died tragically in a car accident in 2002. Funds raised are donated to the Tim and Susan Cook Memorial Scholarship fund at Chambersburg Area Senior High School (CASHS).Tim and Susan were both graduates of CASHS, and remained involved with the school and their community. Tim was a mathematics teacher and girls’ cross country and track coach, and Susan was an administrative assistant at Shippensburg University.
The scholarships funded by this race are awarded by the Chambersburg Area School District Foundation each May and keep the Cooks’ spirit alive by contributing to the continued education of local high school graduates.
The pre-registration deadline is June 25, and the race-day registration will begin at 7 a.m. at CASHS upper concession stand. The women’s and girls’ race/walk begins at 8 a.m. followed by the men’s and boys’ race/walk at 8:30 a.m. Both races begin at Chambersburg Area Middle School and end at CASHS.Pre-registration for the race is $15 without a T-shirt and $20 with a T-shirt on or before June 25. After this date, registration is $18 without a T-shirt and $22 with a T-shirt while supplies last.
Register online here. Download the registration form here. Or contact Robin Harmon at 717-264-7101, ext. 205 or email@example.com for more information about the race or scholarships.
As the Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program continues to grow, fifteen trained CTAs toured sites in Waynesboro and Mercersburg. “The tour was a way of familiarizing CTAs with the assets of Franklin County,” said Doug Harmon. “Reading the manual and taking part in the four-hour training is an important start, but getting out, seeing, and experiencing the great assets of the county helps our CTAs have an extra-level of understanding.”
Harmon said he reached out to the 44 trained and nationally certified ambassadors to see what areas of Franklin County they wanted to explore in the initial familiarization tour. Waynesboro and Mercersburg topped the list.
The CTAs began their tour with an opportunity to visit the Waynesboro Country Club for lunch, and then headed to Renfrew Museum & Park for a tour of the Nicodemus House and overview of the historic grounds. The house is the 1818 Royer farmstead, owned by Emma and Edgar Nicodeumus. It was willed to the Borough of Waynesboro when Emma passed away in the 1970s.
In Mercersburg, the CTAs toured the 20,000-sq.ft. Mercersburg Inn. Formerly called Prospect, the inn was built in 1908 and offers pure turn-of-the20th-century elegance in its 17 bedrooms and suites. The final stop of the tour was the James Buchanan Birthplace State Park. The park includes a 600-ton, pyramid-shaped memorial to 15th President James Buchanan, which is surrounded by 18-acres of greenery, a trout stream, and natural vistas. The park is the site of the cabin, where Buchanan was born in 1791.
The tour also gave an opportunity for CTAs to showcase their sites and communities. The touring CTAs wrapped up the day with a chance to meet members of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce at a mixer held at the Waynesboro Country Club.
In addition to the familiarization tour, CTAs are supporting the 1864 Burning of Chambersburg on July 21 by conducting civil war walking tours of downtown Chambersburg.
The July class of CTA, being held at Penn National Golf Course Community, has 21 enrolled, which will bring the total trained to 65.
CTA training is a nationwide training certification that helps communities know the value of their destination by providing information about history, culture, art, recreation, and outdoors. The program’s goal is to bring consistency, positivity, and pride to the people visitors meet in the community. It could be an event planner, a waitress, a real estate agent, a front desk person, or a docent of a heritage site. The program is a good way to expand awareness of community, quality of life, and tourism assets.
CTA provides a way to network, support pride in community, stay in the know on local happenings, gain knowledge of local history and culture, and develop leadership qualities. Contact Doug Harmon, CTA director, to learn more or enroll in an upcoming class.
Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s beloved summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA, will present the Tony Award-winning musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ (more…)