Batter Up! empowers high school students to focus a lens on the Negro Leagues, the professional baseball teams of African American and Latinx players that, because of segregation, flourished in the early part of the 20th century. The timing of this project is especially relevant given that the 100th Anniversary of the Negro League Baseball was celebrated in 2020.
The Negro Leagues have deep roots in the City of Paterson. Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson is one of the last remaining Negro League ballparks, and Larry Doby, a graduate of Paterson’s Eastside High School, was the first African American to play in the American League (only three months after Jackie Robinson did so in the National League).
Batter Up! employs the Negro League Baseball narrative to develop a library of interdisciplinary lessons across the curriculum. The grant was implemented in Paterson’s John F. Kennedy and Eastside High Schools, where students conducted research and created lessons that explored both the history of baseball in America in terms of social justice and the scientific aspects of baseball.
Batter Up!, a joint effort of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and William Paterson University, was made possible by a Conservation, Protection, Outreach and Education Grant from the U.S Department of the Interior-National Park Service.
The history of the Negro Leagues is intrinsically linked to the history of the United States, especially the battle against racism and for social justice. The lessons:
The sport of baseball encompasses all the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. Throwing, hitting, running, and catching involve both the physiology of the human body and the physics of motion. Analyzing statistical performance, e.g., tracking and comparing batting averages, earned run averages, runs batted in, etc. requires math. Collecting data to run baseball statistics now uses technology that measures, for example, how fast a pitcher throws a ball, as well as the velocity and angle of a hit baseball.
Batter Up Grant Sponsors Special Event on June 2 for Paterson School District Students to Learn About the History of Negro League Baseball!
Twenty students each from Eastside High School, Joseph A. Taub School, and Community Charter School of Paterson learned about history and significance of Negro League baseball. They also engaged in the baseball activities of base running and pitching, As a surprise, they were treated to a tour of newly renovated Hinchliffe Stadium, one of the only two remaining Negro League baseball stadiums. William Paterson University Professor in Residence Dina Scacchetti hosted the event along with the National Park Service staff.
Field Trip to Motion Lab
A universal connection between sport and STEM involves the field of kinesiology, the scientific study of human body movement.
On March 9th student-athletes from Paterson's Eastside High School visited William Paterson's Human Motion Research Lab in the Department of Kinesiology. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Wicke and his assistants, they engaged in several activities, including measuring their reaction times, experiencing the anti-gravity treadmill, experimenting with motion capture, and testing their vertical jumping ability. All these provided an introduction to the field of kinesiology.
WP Professor in Residence, Dina Scacchetti, Paterson Physical Education Supervisor Clarissa Adams, and Eastside Athletic Guidance Counselor Quatarra Benjamin accompanied the students from Eastside on this trip. Great Falls Park Ranger Ilyse Goldman and her assistants attended and spoke to the students about the relevance of their efforts to the Batter Up grant.
For further details on the trip click here!
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470