'Batter Up: Baseball in Charleston'

This audio-documentary pulls excerpts from oral histories collected by Eric Douglas during FestivALL 2018. You can listen to it on your local station (88.5FM in Charleston) or streaming live and after the air date on

Charleston has a long and storied baseball history. Many major leaguers and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductees have played a portion of their careers in Watt Powell and Appalachian Power Parks.

More significant, though, is the effect baseball has had on the people. Memories of evenings at the ballpark with family and friends are just as vivid as the day they happened, sometimes 50 years ago.

With the cooperation of FestivALL and the West Virginia Culture Center Archives Library, Eric Douglas conducted a series of interviews with former players, batboys, ushers, ticket agents and fans of the game. They related memories of their grandparents, spending time with friends, meeting heroes and enjoying summer at the ball park.

Douglas has recorded nearly 30 hours of audio interviews and photographed each interviewee and has created a 30-minute Ken Burns-style documentary combining the memories from the interviews with archival photographs from Watt Powell and Appalachian Power Park. Additionally, develop a companion book and podcasts so users could listen to the stories.

About the author

Eric Douglas is a West Virginia author and documentarian. He has a degree in Journalism from Marshall University and a certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He has also published 18 books including a series of adventure novels and several nonfiction books.

In 2013, he produced the West Virginia Voices of War documentary and the companion book Common Valor. This project included oral histories from 46 different West Virginia war veterans.

From 2015 to 2017, Douglas interviewed more than 70 Charleston area residents during FestivALL and FestivALL Fall and produced the Memories of the Valley documentary.

His other documentary work includes “For Cheap Lobster” a multimedia project on lobster divers in Honduras that was used as background for stories in the New York Times, and NBC News. His photodocumentary project, Russia: The New, was exhibited in Moscow, Russia; Bordeaux, France; South Carolina and West Virginia.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 8:00pm to 9:00pm

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