During the College World Series, The Durham Museum will “hit it out the park” with special line-up celebrating the remarkable history of Rosenblatt Stadium, home to the series from 1950 to 2010.
“Rosenblatt: The Final Inning,” a production of NET Television, will be shown in The Durham’s Mutual of Omaha Theater. This exquisite documentary, produced and directed by NET’s Sue Maryott, re-traces the legendary stadium from its glory years through its emotional finish in 2010. The film will be shown the following dates and times, and is included with admission to The Durham Museum.
June 15 at 11:30AM
June 16 at 11:30AM
June 18 at 11:30AM
June 19 at 1:30PM
June 21 at 11:30AM
June 22 at 11:30AM
June 24 at 11:30AM
June 25 at 11:30AM
June 26 at 11:30AM
On Wednesday, June 20th at 1:30PM a viewing of “Rosenblatt: The Final Inning” will be shown in the Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall, followed by a special lecture with several individuals featured in the film. The lecture will be lead by the film’s producer Sue Maryott and will include Steve Rosenblatt, son of Johnny Rosenblatt who the stadium was named after, Jack Payne, PA Announcer at Rosenblatt from1964-2000, Jesse Cuevas, Head Groundskeeper at Rosenblatt from 1986-2010, Lou Spry, Official Scorer at the CWS from 1981-current, and Lambert Bartak, Organist from 1950s-2010.
Due to limited seating, reservations are required for the lecture. Please call (402) 444-5071 ext. 500 or email reservations@DurhamMusueum.org. Cost of admission applies and Durham Museum members are free.
About “Rosenblatt: The Final Inning”
Description provided by Larry L. Kubert, NET
In heartwarming style, the program follows the efforts of Johnny Rosenblatt – a former Omaha mayor – to create Omaha’s Municipal Stadium in the mid-1940s, with the first game played within its stadium walls in 1948. The stadium was later dedicated as Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in 1964 in honor of the former mayor’s efforts.
Over the years, Rosenblatt hosted football, concerts, wrestling, fireworks, and lots of baseball, including hardball action from Triple A teams the Omaha Cardinals, Omaha Dodgers and Omaha Royals, as well as the best of the collegiate best in the College World Series (CWS). Collegiate coaches featured in the program include Augie Garrido (Texas), Gene Stevenson (Wichita Stare) and Brian O’Connor (Virginia), as well as former pro baseball players Nomar Garciaparra and Robin Ventura.
Not only is the ballpark’s history traced, but the program introduces the personalities that have become as much a part of Rosenblatt Stadium as the concrete, grass and dugouts. Sharing reminiscences are Steve Rosenblatt, Johnny Rosenblatt’s son; Jesse Cuevas, stadium superintendant, who for decades maintained its lush playing field; Lambert Bartak, longtime Rosenblatt organist, who developed into a favorite of the College World Series fans; Jack Payne, Rosenblatt’s PA announcer and is considered “The Voice of the College World Series”; and Lou Spry, the official scorer for the baseball games played at Rosenblatt.
Home to the College World Series since 1950, the final CWS game was played at Rosenblatt on June 29, 2010, with the South Carolina Gamecocks defeating the UCLA Bruins. With the construction of a new ballpark – TD Ameritrade Park – Rosenblatt has become a ghost. For baseball fans across the country, it was like losing a best friend.
“Rosenblatt: The Final Inning” is a production of NET Television.
Lambert Bartak, Organist from 1950’s – 2010:
Bartak’s keyboard stylings have delighted generations of Omaha baseball fans.
He first played at Rosenblatt in the 1950s as a substitute. At the time, the organ perched in an open-air booth beneath a leaky roof. Birds added insults to the injuries that rain and humidity inflicted on the instrument. During games, fans shouted requests for songs.
Bartak eventually became the full-time organist for the CWS. He also played at Omaha Royals games from the early 1970s until the Royals switched to recorded music a few years ago.
His biggest claim to fame might have come in 1988 when an umpire ejected Bartak from a Royals game for playing the theme song from “The Mickey Mouse Club” television show during an on-the-field argument.
Jesse Cuevas, Head Groundskeeper at Rosenblatt from 1986-2010
Frank Mancuso served as the stadium’s superintendent and groundskeeper for 26 years until he died of a heart attack in 1986. His dedication for keeping the stadium in tip-top shape was legendary. Jesse Cuevas took over Frank Mancuso’s position, a job he held from 1986 through the College World Series’ move downtown. He started working at Rosenblatt in 1969, shagging baseballs for $1 a day.
Detailing the man’s legacy would fill plenty of blog posts. Think of it this way: “Jesse Cuevas means Omaha baseball to me,” Alan Stein, president of the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly Royals) said last year.
Jesse Cuevas retired on April 13. The Omaha city council dedicated that day in his honor.
Sue Maryott – NET Producer/Director
Sue Maryott has been working in television for over 20 years - the past 16 at NET (Nebraska’s PBS station.)
During her time at NET, Maryott has won multiple awards including 3 Emmy’s. Her documentaries include: Homemade Astronaut; The Clay Anderson Story, The Creightons; Building the Dream, Omaha’s First Families, Polka Passion & countless performance programs including 33rd St. Sessions, Backstage Pass and Zoo Bar Blues.
Jack Payne, PA Announcer at Rosenblatt from 1964-2000
The voice of the CWS from 1964 until 2000, Payne is best known for his folksy delivery that helped set the event apart from other NCAA championships.
Lou Spry, CWS Official Scorer from 1981-current
Spry first became associated with the CWS in 1967 as the event’s media coordinator. Once the NCAA’s chief financial officer, Spry became the official scorer for the CWS in 1981 and continued in that position through this year’s championship.
Steve Rosenblatt – son of Johnny Rosenblatt
The Omaha native and his wife, the former Ann Hermen, split their time between Scottsdale, AZ and Omaha.
His late father, Johnny Rosenblatt, became an Omaha icon: first as a top amateur baseball player; than as a sponsor of youth athletic teams through the Roberts Dairy company he managed; and finally as a popular Omaha city councilman and mayor. The elder Rosenblatt, who served as mayor from 1954 to 1961, led efforts to build the south Omaha stadium that became the city’s home to professional baseball and to the College World Series.
In a classic case of the apple not falling far from the tree, Steve Rosenblatt was a ballplayer in his own right and served on the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Sports Commission and the Omaha Royals Advisory Board. He followed his father’s footsteps into politics as well, serving two terms on the city council and three terms on the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
Rosenblatt continues to work closely with the city and the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium as plans unfold for the Rosenblatt Stadium Memorial Site.
Brian Seifferlein – NET Videographer and Producer
A Michigan native, Brian Seifferlein has quickly adapted to Nebraska and it’s culture over the past 10 years.
Brian has worked as a videographer and editor for 15 years – the past 10 at NET. During that time, Seifferlein has worked on documentaries ranging from Frontier photographers in Western Nebraska to global climate change in Antarctica. Seifferlein has won three regional Emmy’s and was also named employee of the year at NET last year.