The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum recently introduced Starting Nine, a team-themed experience that highlights nine pieces for each team among the vast collection of tens of thousands of treasured artifacts preserved in Cooperstown. The idea is to help tell each team’s story in the form of its artifacts.
Museum officials say curators spent many hours mining that collection for objects that represent each major league team, providing a new visitor experience tailored to each baseball fan. A lineup card – available at the Hall of Fame or on its mobile website – identifies nine must-see artifacts for each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams.
Some of the items date back decades while others provide a connection to more recent moments in a team’s history.
The selected Yankees pieces range from Lou Gehrig’s locker and a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card to Aaron Boone’s 2003 ALCS home run bat and a 1996 Derek Jeter World Series jersey.
The Red Sox “starting nine” includes Carlton Fisk’s 1975 World Series home run bat and the ball pitched by Bill Dineen to strike out Honus Wagner and end the first World Series in 1903.
The Phillies’ showcase includes a 19th century trophy presented to Big Sam Thompson, Chuck Klein’s 1932 MVP trophy and the jersey worn by Eric Bruntlett in 2009 when he became just the second major league player to turn an unassisted triple play to end a ball game.
“Starting Nine personalizes the Museum experience to each visitor’s own memories, keying in on unique pieces from the Hall of Fame’s immense collection of the game’s history,” said Tim Mead, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “We want fans of every team to say, ‘Wow! You have that?’”
The team collections are being revealed one-by-one online at baseballhall.org/nine. The Starting Nine displays will be in place at the Museum through December 2020 and Mead hopes fans and collectors will choose to visit in person.
“So many baseball fans have the Baseball Hall of Fame on their ‘bucket lists.’ This is a great reason to finally make that visit to beautiful Cooperstown.”