New Baseball Collection at the Tomlinson Library
A portion of the almost 900 baseball books now on display at the Tomlinson Library.


Unique collection donated to Tomlinson Library

Seventy-five boxes arrived at the Tomlinson Library on July 22 containing a unique collection donated by Larry Gerlach. The 1,372 books and dozen journal titles all pertain to one subject - America’s favorite pastime.

Many people wonder how a collection about baseball can be so large, said Tomlinson Library Collection Development Coordinator Barbara Borst. The collection covers a wide variety of baseball topics including: the history of baseball, minor and Negro leagues, ballparks and baseball player biographies. A few titles in the collection are Glove Stories, Summer of 49, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues and Lou Gehrig.  

Borst worked with a team to process the collection with close to 900 pieces currently processed and on display on the library’s first floor.

“Interesting enough, there are 450 titles in this collection that are not held in other major state libraries,” Borst said. “Thirty-four percent of the collection is unique to us.”

Tomlinson Library receives collections periodically but this collection is unique due to the size of the collection and rarity of many of the titles. Requests from other Prospect and Marmot partner libraries began flowing in before the collection had even been processed, said Borst.

The initial conversation with the donor, held over a cup of coffee, occurred in September 2015 and included library representatives, a few Colorado Mesa professors and a Junior College World Series (JUCO) employee.  

Tomlinson Library Director Sylvia Rael, who was present at the initial meeting, said that although Gerlach lives in Utah, he donated the collection to Colorado Mesa University because of Grand Junction’s tradition of supporting baseball and being home to JUCO as well as his overall love for this community.

“We believe there will be a broader interest for this collection outside of the CMU community,” Rael said.

Borst and team have been quickly processing the collection since July for two main reasons. The first is because a Maverick Milestone class - an interdisciplinary, topics-oriented, writing-intensive course - wanted to use the collection throughout the fall 2016 semester.  The second is that the date was set for a special reception celebrating the unique collection for Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 4-6pm at the Tomlinson Library.

The reception is open to the Colorado Mesa University community at large including students, faculty and staff. RSVPs must be received by November 11 and may be directed to Crystal Manzanares at 970.248.1525.

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)