Longview has its own 'Field of Dreams' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview has its own 'Field of Dreams'

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt admires the "Field of Dreams' Exhibit. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt admires the "Field of Dreams' Exhibit. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

Take me out to the ball game, or maybe we should say take me into the baseball exhibit at the Gregg County Historical Museum in Longview.

On display is a collection of memorabilia that will make collectors envious, along with a series of photographs of baseball stadiums. We met up with an avid baseball fan, who also happens to be the Gregg County Judge, to talk a little ball.

You may have heard the names Frank Robinson, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle; well they’re all here...or at least their autographs and cards are here. Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt was pretty surprised to see how extensive the “Field of Dreams” exhibit is.

“Anybody who loves baseball, I would recommend highly they come to Longview to the Gregg County Museum and look at this display, because it will bring back wonderful memories of when you were a child and played the game,” Stoudt said.

He played ball growing up and through high school. He says his parents introduced him to baseball as soon as he could walk and:

“Throw a rock. They got me involved in Little League Baseball and I played that for years,” Stoudt recalled.

In fact, he’ll still go to an occasional Longview Lobos game. And taking in Jack Buchanan’s collection has a special meaning for him.

“Oh, there’s Hank Aaron,” Stoudt said looking at an autographed bat.

Stoudt didn’t have a lot of brushes with baseball greats, but he did shake Hank Aaron’s hand years ago.

“Jack Buchanan was with the Gregg County Museum for many years, and brought a lot of this material here...he needs to be congratulated. He did a great job,” Stoudt stated.

Born in Big Sandy and relocating to Chicago for a while, Buchanan began collecting in the '80’s when his nephew got him an autographed picture of Cubs first baseman Mark Grace. Buchanan passed away in 2012, and his nephew is now caretaker of the collection. Buchanan loved baseball, but, looking around, that sort of goes without saying.

“This is kind of a hidden secret, quite frankly, because these kinds of collections just don’t come in all the time, and if you’re a lover of the game of baseball, this is something you don’t want to miss,” Stoudt concluded.

“Home run?” I asked him.

“Excellent. A home run; definitely a home run,” Stoudt agreed.

The museum believes if they display it, you will come.

The exhibit also includes photographer Jim Dow’s look at North American baseball stadiums.

If you’d like more information about the Gregg County Historical Museum’s display just click here.

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