The world of Winters sports exhibit on display at the museum

Tom Crisp worked with Historical Society of Winters members to create the new Wide World of Winters Sports exhibit at the Winters Museum. The museum feature will open up again to the public on Thursday, Jan. 5 following the museum’s holiday closure. (Courtesy photo)

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A new exhibit graces the Winters Museum walls, celebrating the history of sports in Winters, and the museum’s Vice President, Tom Crisp, talked with the Winters Express about what this exhibit entails.

Discussing how this exhibit came to be, Crisp ran through the process of how the Winters Museum decides on the area of focus for each exhibit.

 “What we do is we find a topic, and then we have an exhibit for that topic — and the group knew that I had already done a lot of research on sports in Winters from the books I’d written on the various sports of Winters High School and also some other town sports — they figured that was going to be a straightforward work,” Crisp said.

Crisp was also specific in expressing his gratitude to Gloria Lopez, who he said, “was the one who really organized the thing, I supplied the information and some artifacts, but she was the one that got us to include other sports other than baseball, since that’s my main area of research, and then put it all together.”

This newest exhibit, which is up now but will celebrate the grand opening in February, features a plethora of sports-related history, biographies, and showcases, ranging across different sports, including baseball, soccer, and horse racing, as well as across many decades and skill levels, ranging from local high school achievements to Winters residents competing at professional and even Olympic levels. 

One of Crisp’s favorite subjects, one he described as “key” to the exhibit, is Winters native “Frank Demaree, who played in the (baseball) major leagues for almost 10 years in the 1930s and early 40s” and was a subject of much of Crisp’s research. Crisp described Demaree’s career and exploits, including becoming a two-time all-star and playing in four World Series, facing off against legends like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and even appearing on a Wheaties box in 1937. 

Crisp hopes this exhibit will communicate to the community of Winters “how rich an athletic history that Winters has in a variety of sports,” and he hopes that by showcasing that “Winters athletes, coaches, etc., have gone on beyond Winters — maybe some of the kids will look at it and say, ‘hey, wait a minute, that’s pretty cool, maybe I can do that.’” 

“There’s one Winters High graduate who got a gold medal in the Olympics,” Crisp said, encouraging Express readers to visit the exhibit to learn the story of that Winters resident, and maybe be inspired to follow in their athletic footsteps.

For information about the Winters Museum’s hours or to learn more about volunteering as a docent, visit Admission to the museum is free.

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