'Arte Italia' Exhibit Chronicles Baseball's Rich History - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

'Arte Italia' Exhibit Chronicles Baseball's Rich History

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Many of us know the legends like Joe DiMaggio and Billy Martin. Even some of today's stars--like Barry Zito or Terry Francona.

And for a short time--these ballplayers plus hundreds more are all together on one exhibit floor.

"We created arte italia because of the number of generations of Italian Americans who settled in Northern Nevada," says Kristen Avanasino.

In the early 1900s, baseball was made up of Irish, German and British.

But that all changed when Italians immigrated to areas like San Francisco and Northern Nevada.

And many of the young men didn't want to follow in their fathers' footsteps and work in the mines.

"And many of them looked to sports and baseball as a new adventure. A way out."

"And it was a way for them to fit in to the American way of life. Because back then that's all those immigrants wanted to do is really fit in."

Since then, Italians have stamped their place in baseball history.

From the Pacific Coast Leagues to the Major Leagues, you'll find all that history right here in Reno.

"People know Joe DiMaggio. But come to arte italia and find out about his two brothers Dom and Vince."

The exhibit features everything from baseball cards to game worn jerseys and hats.

"We've done a good job I think in really chronocling the impact Italian Americans have had on the sport of baseball."

Both the president and director told us they've hit a homerun with this exhibit.

People in Reno continue showing up in big numbers.

Some look around for 20 minutes, while others stay for two hours.

And it seems all of them--old and young--make some connection with America's pastime.

"This is what baseball and what the American spirit's all about."

‘Italian Americans at Bat' is located at 422 Flint Street in Reno. It's open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5pm until May 19th. Admission is free.

For more information, go to http://www.arteitaliausa.com/

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