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Jerry Poling Oral History Interview

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Herold, Kelly; Sturz, Christopher; Kintner, Robin
Poling, Jerry
Mar 15, 2012
HIST 486
Jerry Poling is the author of the book, A Summer Up North, and has been involved with much research and work on baseball in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Mr. Poling discusses what prompted him to write his book, the love of baseball in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and the surrounding area, and his desire to learn more about Hank Aaron's time in Eau Claire. A comparison between baseball in Eau Claire and baseball nationwide was made involving the progress of baseball in Eau Claire from the 1860s to the 1950s and to the present Northern League team. Mr. Poling, a news-wire editor and a columnist for the Eau Claire Leader Telegram, commented on media coverage of baseball and how the media shaped baseball or vice-versa and how the baseball-media relationship compares to media in other sports. Mr. Poling discussed how he assembled his book, what he learned after the book was published that could have been included, such as his attempt to determine if Ann Landers attended any of Hank Aaron's games. Mr. Poling discusses the Eau Claire Express and other teams of that level. Mr. Poling mentions how his sources felt about how African-American players were viewed and treated in Eau Claire, how the newspaper covered high school baseball but not other youth baseball, and how media accommodations for Carson Park are limited and have changed a little over time. Mr. Poling's most memorable baseball game was during the Brewers' 1982 American League Championship Series. Mr. Poling reminisces about his first trip to a major league ballpark and comments on the present day Brewers team.
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