Chris Tashima in a scene from “Day of Independence.” (Photo by Shane Sato)

SANTA ANA – Historic Wintersburg joins the team for the traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” for a limited six-week engagement, Aug. 19 through Sept. 30, at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 W. Harvard St. in Santa Ana.

Historic Wintersburg’s exhibit in the museum’s Carriage House for Hometown Teams will share history of early 20th-century Japanese American sports teams of Orange County. The exhibit includes images and sports news, in the words of the Nisei and clips from The Santa Ana Register. Among the teams featured are the Orange Groves, who practiced across the road from the Wintersburg Japanese Mission in the 1920s.

An outdoor “picnic blanket” family movie night will be hosted by Historic Wintersburg and Heritage Museum on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m., near the historic Maag farmhouse. There will be theater concessions and some surprise gifts for movie-goers. Admission is free for this family film night under the stars.

The double-header includes “Day of Independence” with Academy Award-winning director-actor Chris Tashima (“Visas and Virtue,” “Lil Tokyo Reporter,” “Under the Blood Red Sun,” and the upcoming “Go For Broke”) and actor Derek Mio (“Greek,” “House M.D.,” “CSI,” “Bones,” “NCIS: LA,” and “The Good Wife”). Mio is an alumnus of Huntington Beach High School and played baseball with Ocean View Little League in Huntington Beach.

Derek Mio in a scene from “Day of Independence.” (Photo by Shane Sato)

“Day of Independence” — nominated for an Emmy in 2005 — explores the sacrifices and triumphs of those who endured World War II confinement through courage and the all-American game of baseball. The screening of this award-winning short film will be joined by stars Tashima and Mio for the film’s introduction and post-screening discussion with the audience.

Chris Tashima and Derek Mio

Following “Day of Independence” is the feature-length cult classic “The Sandlot.” Set in the summer of 1962, it is a coming-of-age story of a group of young baseball players in San Fernando Valley. The film, which features James Earl Jones, includes the trials, tribulations and comedy of summer in the suburbs, including “the Beast,” the legendary dog beyond the wall next to the sandlot. In an iconic scene, the team unknowingly plays with a ball signed by “the Great Bambino,” Babe Ruth.

Hometown sports are more than just sports. They shape our lives, help us survive uncertain times, bring us joy, and unite us as a community with shared experiences. Join Historic Wintersburg at the Heritage Museum of Orange County to explore the history and importance of sports in American life.

Museum hours: Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours are subject to sudden changes due to private events. Verify the date and hours of your visit with the online event calendar prior to your arrival.

Admission: $7 general (ages 13 and up); $5 for seniors and children ages 3 to 12; free for children under 3. Free admission on the first Sunday of the month for Santa Ana residents; proof of residency is required.

For more information, call (714) 540-0404 or visit

“Hometown Teams” is part of “Museum on Main Street,” a collaboration between the Smithsonian and Exhibit Envoy. Support has been provided by the U.S. Congress. This is the second Smithsonian exhibit joined by Historic Wintersburg, after “Journey Stories” at Heritage Museum of Orange County in 2014.

In February, the Smithsonian opened an exhibit on the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which mandated the forced removal and incarceration of the West Coast’s Japanese Americans. Among the items displayed was the “Go For Broke” 442nd Regimental Combat Team uniform of Kazuo Masuda, a Huntington Beach High School alumnus, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and congregant of the Wintersburg Japanese Mission at Historic Wintersburg.

More information about Historic Wintersburg can be found at

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