I love baseball. For those who read this blog and know me personally, this comes as no surprise. I discuss the game often and frequently use baseball analogies in conversation. I have many reasons for being infatuated with the game. The sights, the smells, the nuances of baseball, the way it sounds on the radio, the fact that it’s the only sport where the defense has the ball, and that it begins in the spring when everything is new and ends in the fall, just when you need it most. It’s a special game.
One of my favorite things about the game is September call-ups. For those of you who don’t know, major league teams are allowed to expand their rosters and bring up players from their farm systems in September. For teams in a pennant race (like the Milwaukee Brewers), it can add a much-needed boost for a team fatigued from 130 games already played. For teams out of the pennant race (like my Chicago Cubs), it can be an opportunity to try out younger players who have a shot at making next year’s club.
Well, September call-ups happen in the museum world, too. Curator of exhibitions Andy McGivern recently broke his collarbone, limiting his physical work at the Woodson Art Museum. Andy has been placed on the Museum’s version of the 60-day disabled list. Because now is the busiest time of the year at the Museum, with preparations for the upcoming 36th annual Birds in Art exhibition in full swing, director Kathy Foley made a September call-up of her own, bringing yours truly up to the “big club.”
While working full time at the Museum for the next couple of months, I’ll be doing a number of things to save Andy’s arm from further damage. I’ll be installing exhibitions, handling delicate works in the Museum’s collection, and helping with set up and take down throughout the facility and grounds. This is the baseball equivalent of being a good glove man up the middle, with decent speed and a tendency to get some clutch base hits. I’m thinking of myself as the consummate “utility player.”
Editor’s note: Matt Foss has been sharing his time and talents with the Woodson Art Museum for almost two years. He received an undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree, both in history, from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.