OLLI Course Available on Professional Baseball History in Northwest Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Author J.B. Hogan will teach an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course titled “The Fayetteville Angels and the Arkansas-Missouri League” from 10 a.m.-noon on Wednesday, March 9.
The course is based on Hogan’s 2013 book Angels in the Ozarks published by Pen L. Publishing. It is an overview of the league, covering professional baseball in Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri from 1934 to 1940, with information on the people who ran the league, the players and more.
Hogan has taught OLLI coursess on aspects of Fayetteville history that people may not know much about, or what he calls forgotten Fayetteville. His past courses have included “Fayetteville’s Old Movie Houses,” “Murder and Mayhem: The Dark Side of Fayetteville’s Past” and “Why Is It Named That?”
Hogan has presented this information for an OLLI class in the past, at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale and at his book launch.
Hogan’s inspiration for the book came from a lifetime love of baseball.
"I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a little kid,” Hogan said. “I played ball through one year of junior college myself. I’m a baseball fanatic, and I love the history of baseball.”
The course is for those who want to keep learning and have an interest in local history and baseball.
Hogan decided to write about local baseball history after learning through an article in Flashback, the journal of the Washington County Historical Society, how the team arrived at its final name.
Before becoming the Angels, Fayetteville’s own Class D Minor League team, the team started off as the Fayetteville Educators. Eventually, the name was changed to the Fayetteville Bears. After later receiving hand-me-down uniforms that read Angels, the team renamed itself the Fayetteville Angels, as the Depression had hit and money was not on hand to get the name switched on the uniforms.
Hogan said it is important to recognize that professional baseball existed in Northwest Arkansas long before the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, a Minor League Baseball team, moved to Springdale in 2008.
“This was an actual professional league,” Hogan said. “This wasn’t semi-pro, Sunday afternoon pick-up ball. This was Class D Minor League. This is actual professional baseball. Nobody even knew it existed.”
Hogan has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri and a doctorate in English from Arizona State University. After traveling and working outside Arkansas, Hogan moved back to Fayetteville 11 years ago. Along with teaching OLLI courses, he has published 16 articles in Flashback.
Hogan is the current past president of the Washington County Historical Society and former chairman of the Fayetteville Historic District Commission.
More information on OLLI classes can be found on the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute website. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a member-driven, nonprofit organization based in the College of Education and Health Professions. Its primary goal is to meet the needs of members by providing resources for stimulating, educational programming that is affordable and accessible. Membership is open to people 50 and older.
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