Cooperstown comes to California
Organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, New York, "Baseball As America" is on a four-year, ten-city nationwide tour, marking the first time many of the Hall's treasures have left their legendary home.
Baseball As America is on view at the Oakland Museum of California through January 22, 2006. Take BART to Lake Merritt station and you're just a block away from the museum. Plan your BART trip with bart.gov's online QuickPlanner.
Extended hours for Baseball As America at the Oakland Museum of California are Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12-6 p.m. First Fridays open until 9 p.m. Timed tickets are available at the museum (no surcharge) or online at www.museumca.org/buy-tickets.
Baseball As America is a national celebration of America's romance with baseball. The blockbuster exhibition explores the game's enduring impact on American society, touching on immigration, nationalism, integration, technology, and popular culture.
“Baseball and America have grown up together. In fact, the game is such an integral part of our culture that we often take for granted its deep day-to-day significance in our lives,” noted Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “In bringing this exhibition to people across the country, it is our hope that we can learn more about ourselves as a people with shared values, as reflected in our national game.”
Exhibition Highlights include
• The revered Doubleday Ball, a relic from baseball's mythical first game in 1839
• Jackie Robinson's 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey
• Artifacts from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League
• Record-setting bats from Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, and the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase of 1998
• President Franklin Roosevelt's January 15, 1942, "Green Light" letter calling for the continuation of professional baseball as a way to heighten morale during World War II
• Norman Rockwell's droll 1949 painting “The Three Umpires”
• "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's shoes
• The most highly prized baseball card in the world—the T206 Honus Wagner, 1909
Baseball As America is organized into seven thematic sections to explore the changing roles baseball has played in American culture and history.
Our National Spirit. The links between our heritage and national institutions and the game—baseball as cultural ambassador abroad and unifying tradition at home.
Ideals & Injustices. Baseball as a microcosm and catalyst for America's changing attitudes about equality and opportunity.
Rooting for the Team. A look at baseball rituals—hot dogs, the seventh-inning stretch, wearing team jerseys and colors to the game, fan clubs, baseball cards, and autographs.
Enterprise & Opportunity. Baseball as a business, notably the introduction of an admission fee and the role of baseball in advertising and product endorsements.
Sharing a Common Culture. Lo, the ubiquitous baseball cap! How baseball has become integral to popular American culture, from Norman Rockwell to mainstream movies.
Invention & Ingenuity. Both on the field and off—technological advances in sports equipment, the aerodynamics of the fastball and the curveball, TV and radio partnerships.
Weaving Myths. Stadiums have become shrines. Players become legends. Ruth, DiMaggio, Robinson, Mays, and Koufax each embody an era or an ideal.
Bay Area baseball history is especially rich, with two major league franchises and its illustrious Pacific Coast League teams. Baseball As America at the Oakland Museum of California includes a local component, organized by the museum, with artifacts and photographs of the legendary Billy Martin and Casey Stengel; hometown heroes Joe DiMaggio, Ricky Henderson, and Joe Morgan; and players who broke barriers—Oakland native “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the Boston Red Sox, and Glenn Burke, the first openly gay player.
For information on the exhibition, visit www.baseballasamerica.org.