The exhibit "Our Love Affair with Baseball" at the Ohr-O'Keefe includes a Friday luncheon series that features a host of baseball standouts, historians and others involved in the sport.
The noon luncheon is $10, which includes free admission to the multimedia exhibit. Lunches will be prepared by Sal & Mookie's, the downtown Biloxi restaurant, and will be served in the Ohr-O'Keefe's welcome center. Make reservations at www.georgeohr.org or call 374-5547. Reservations must be made by 5 p.m. the Thursday before each luncheon.
Here is a list of speakers for the first half of the six-month "Baseball" exhibition.
May 13, Rick Cleveland: Distinguished Mississippi Sports Journalist, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame historian, and author of Boo: A Life in Baseball Well Lived, Rick Cleveland will talk about his career covering college baseball I our state. Cleveland will also share stories of Mississippi's legendary coach Dave "Boo" Ferriss and the C Spire Ferris Trophy, the Mississippi College Player of the Year award.
May 20, J. Con Maloney: Former Owner of the Jackson Mets and Jackson Generals, the Class AA Affiliates of the New York Mets and Houston Astros. He is a member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Con will discuss the origins of Affiliated Minor League Baseball in Mississippi and share stories of his life and career in Baseball.
May 27, Gary Sarnoff: Baseball historian Gary Sarnoff has done extensive research on the Washington Senators Spring Training days in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is the author of The Wrecking Crew of '33: The Washington Senators Last Pennant.
June 3, Barry Lyons: Former Major League Baseball Catcher from Biloxi. He played for the Mets, Dodgers, Angels and White Sox during his 14-year Professional Baseball career. He was a member of the 1986 World Series Champion Mets. Barry will share stories of his career as a Player, a Manager and a Broadcaster and his role in bringing Minor League Baseball to his hometown of Biloxi, MS.
June 10, Jim Howarth: Former San Francisco outfielder Jim Howarth is from Biloxi. A star player for Mississippi State University before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants, Howarth spent seven years with the Giants organization -- four of which were in San Francisco.
June 17, Dick "Lefty" O'Neal: United States Air Force retiree, former Negro Leagues pitcher, historian, speaker, scout, and author of Dreaming of the Majors - Living in the Bush, Lefty O'Neal was stationed in Biloxi during his military career and it was here that he became pitcher for our local semi-pro team, the Biloxi Dodgers.
June 24, Darryl Strawberry: 8-time MLB All Star outfielder, 4-time World Series Champion and ordained minister Darryl Strawberry played for the New York Mets, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and New York Yankees during his 17 year MLB career. Strawberry was a member of the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets and was a star player for the Jackson Mets in 1982 before making it to the majors.
July 1, Ron Swoboda: During his nine years in the MLB, Swoboda played outfield for the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, and New York Yankees. He was a member of the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets and is best remembered for his spectacular catch during Game 4. Swoboda is a veteran broadcaster for the New Orleans Zephyrs, a AAA affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
July 8, Doug Thompson: Former athlete for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Louisiana State University, Doug Thompson is a native of Biloxi. In 1997 he was the winning pitcher in LSU's National Championship game at the College World Series. Thompson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 1998 and stayed with the organization for six seasons, reaching the AAA level. He is now a radio broadcaster for LSU baseball.
July 15, Tim Bennett: President of Overtime Sports and minority owner of the Biloxi Shuckers, Tim Bennett was instrumental in bringing the Mississippi Braves to the state in 2004. At Barry Lyons' recommendation, Bennett was hired as a consultant during the negotiations to bring Minor League Baseball to Biloxi.
July 22, Cooper Farris: Cooper Farris led the program at MGCCC for 20 years, winning several championships and developing numerous players who would go on to play at the college and professional levels.
July 29, Matt & Marcus Lawton: Matt and Marcus Lawton are brothers from Saucier, Mississippi. Matt played at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1991. He went on to play for the Twins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and New York Yankees during his 12 year Major League career and was twice named an MLB All Star. Marcus was drafted by the New York Mets in 1983 and played 10 seasons in the minor leagues with the Mets, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Angels before playing in the MLB with the Yankees.
Aug. 5, Steve Smith: Gulfport native and former Baylor University pitcher, Steve Smith was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1983 and spent five years with the club's minor league teams. After finishing his playing career, Smith turned to coaching; he served as Assistant Coach at Texas A&M University, and Mississippi State University before taking over the Baylor University program in 1995 until 2016.
Aug. 12: TBA
Aug. 19: TBA
Aug. 26, Dale Murphy: Dale Murphy is a former Atlanta Braves outfielder, 7-time MLB All Star, and 2-time National League Most Valuable Player. He won the National League Golden Glove Award five years in a row during his 18 year MLB career and was a fan favorite during his time with the Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Colorado Rockies.