May 18, 2021

Baseball Playoffs: Boston Public Library (BPL) and New York Public Library (NYPL) Make a “Bookish Bet” Over American League Division Series

From a News Release:

2018-10-06_09-55-47Baseball’s greatest rivalry is now one for the books.

The New York Public Library and Boston Public Library have teamed up to have some fun around the American League Division Series between longtime, bitter rivals The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

The two public libraries made a bookish bet:

If the Yankees win, Boston Public Library will create a list of recommended books about New York and promote it prominently. President David Leonard also needs to wear a Yankees cap, and The New York Public Library will receive Boston Cream pies.

If the Red Sox win, The New York Public Library will create a list of recommended books about Boston and promote it prominently. President Tony Marx also needs to wear a Red Sox cap, and The Boston Public Library will receive New York bagels.

In addition to the wager, the two systems launched some social media banter on Twitter and Instagram that will continue throughout the best-of-five series (@nypl and @BPLBoston). One of The New York Public Library’s first posts said, “Well, well, well… looks like the @yankees and @redsox meet again. We’re ready for our own literary #ALDS with @bplboston.” The post is accompanied by a photo of several stacked books with the titles: Bad Blood, The Greatest Story Ever Told – So Far, Frenemies, Here Comes Trouble, and Be Prepared.

One of Boston Public Library’s first Tweets said, “It’s on! We’re betting @nypl that the @redsox will beat the @yankees in the #ALDS. The losing team’s library will recommend a book list about the winning team’s city!” It was accompanied by a photo from the Library’s Leslie Jones Collection showing the Sox and Yankees at Fenway in 1958.

“This is all in good fun, and a home run for both libraries, as we are supporting our cities, our teams, and generating excitement around books and reading,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “The Yankees have long been supporters of our Summer Reading program to keep kids learning outside of school—it’s our turn to support them.”

“The rivalry between Boston and New York is one of the greatest stories of major sports, and we’re glad to join in the fun,” said Boston Public Library President David Leonard. “Our two cities are fierce competitors on the field, but our shared reality is that libraries serve everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, orientation, economic status – or indeed sports loyalty.  We can all be champions of reading, and we’re proud to support our Red Sox as we write another chapter in this story.”

Media Coverage

BPL Bets Rival New York Public Library that Sox will beat the Yankees (via Boston Globe)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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