Numbers and statistics have been a part of baseball’s hold on fans for more than 100 years. But it’s the records those figures represent – and the stories forever attached to them – that bring the National Pastime its immortal status.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate those stories in its new exhibit One for the Books: Baseball Records and the Stories Behind Them, opening May 28. Four Hall of Fame members – Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken – are scheduled to participate in opening weekend festivities for the Museum’s salute to baseball’s most sacred milestones.
Among the items on display: Batting helmet worn by Hank Aaron when he hit his 715th home run, caps from all seven of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters, a wild pitch ball that prevented Jack Chesbro from winning his 42nd game in 1904 and Mel Ott’s 500th home run ball. You can see the remarkable gallery of items here.
The Museum’s newest permanent exhibit, located on the third floor in the Hank Aaron Gallery, features more than 200 artifacts while exploring the stories behind iconic records such as Cy Young’s 511 victories, Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2,632 consecutive games played and Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.
“For fans who love to compare and contrast numbers, records, and record holders, this exhibit is mesmerizing,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “Our curatorial, exhibits and research staffs have created a compelling interactive experience. This exhibit will help fans understand how the foundations of success have been defined over centuries.”
The exhibit will examine records in batting, home runs, pitching, baserunning, fielding, team records, and a seventh category that will hold records like tallest, shortest, oldest, youngest, most seasons played and records held by umpires.
The exhibit will allow fans to search records dating back through baseball history via an interactive Top Ten Tower while giving visitors a look at exciting moments throughout the years via a multimedia wall. A wide-spread capital campaign to help offset the $1.25 million exhibit cost allows supporters to recognize their favorite record through donations at www.baseballhall.org.