Joplin Sesquicentennial Lecture Series Presents ‘A Street Becomes a Boulevard: A Life in Baseball and Joplin’ on March 21

(Joplin, MO) – Baseball is about the sights and smells. It’s about the noises you hear and the memories created that mean more with each passing season. The memory of the ballfield never leaves once you have been there.

“The Life of Gabby Street,” presented by Dr. Galen Irwin, will take place on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 7:00 pm at the Joplin History & Mineral Museum. Refreshments, including complimentary hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, and crackerjacks, will be served at 6:00 pm, provided by the Joplin Historical Society and Southwest Missouri Bank.

This presentation, in connection with the Joplin Sesquicentennial Lecture Series, will focus on Charles Evard Street, who acquired the nickname “Gabby” in his early years and was known by that nickname for the rest of his life.

In 1908, Street became immortal for being the first person to catch a ball thrown from the Washington Monument.

Gabby Street came to Joplin to become player-manager of the Joplin Miners in 1922, leading them to a league and intersectional championship that year. In 1923, he married a Joplin girl, Lucinda Chandler, and they made their home in Joplin for the rest of their lives.

Street was a Joplin celebrity. The Joplin Globe and Joplin News Herald regularly reported on his activities, Joplin honored him with Gabby Street Day, including a parade with 27 units and the dedication of Gabby Street Boulevard.

Guests can view Dr. Irwin’s Gabby Street baseball memorabilia collection that will be on display at the Joplin museum.

About Dr. Galen Irwin: 

Dr. Galen Irwin’s father, Arnold Irwin, was an instructor in political science at Joplin Junior College (JCC). Galen Irwin attended JJC and completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas. After that he obtained a Ph.D. in political science at Florida State University.

In 1980, Dr. Galen Irwin regained his love for collecting baseball cards and began collecting cards of Gabby Street and various memorabilia related to Gabby. His latest project is to obtain cards of all players who played or managed in both Joplin and the major leagues, as well as players who were born in Joplin or in southwest Missouri.


Joplin History & Mineral Museum

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