Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame:The National Baseball Hall Of Fame And Museum

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9780375501432: Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame:The National Baseball Hall Of Fame And Museum
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"Baseball is at the core of our national life, and the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is the game's national shrine, the repository of its heritage."  So begins this tour of the treasures of the Hall of Fame.  Every baseball fan knows that Cooperstown stands for the best of the history and tradition of the great game.  For those fans who visit this village in upstate New York--400,000 make the pilgrimage annually--and for those who cannot get there, John Thorn, baseball's foremost historian, has selected the Hall of Fame's most important artifacts.  He has written about each piece and what it represents in the larger context of the game's history, and David Jordano has meticulously and lovingly photographed these treasures, capturing their essence perfectly.

In words and pictures, Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame  spans the whole of baseball's history from its semi-mythical beginnings through successive ages of legends and giants all the way to today's heroes. A lithographic panorama of a game from the 1860s at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, home of the New York Knickerbockers, begins the Time Line that runs through the book. It includes mementos of the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, the first openly professional team; bats and balls from the dead-ball era; the ball Cy Young pitched during his five hundredth victory; Eddie Gaedel's unique uniform; the bat that Bobby Thomson used to break the Dodgers' fans hearts; George Brett's pine tar bat -- a sequence of baseball's outstanding memories. The Hall of Fame's Special Exhibits are showcased, detailing the place in the game's heritage of the Negro Leagues, plus features on the Minor Leagues, the women's game, and baseball abroad. There are paintings, movie posters, magazines, baseball cards, tickets, and scorecards. The game's showpieces, memorable moments from the All-Star Game and World Series, are recalled. Pieces of baseball equipment from across the ages are commemorated alongside souvenirs of old parks  (the cornerstone of Shibe Park and blueprints for the old Comiskey Park) and fascinating artifacts from the Hall's huge archives.
        
It is where Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame chronicles the magnificent individual achievements of the game that its echoes will resonate most profoundly perhaps: Harvey Haddix's no-hitter that wasn't; triple-play balls, Roger Maris's bat, a base Lou Brock stole and a ball Hank Aaron hit out. Baseball's immortals are remembered in magnificent photographic collages and evocative essays. Tributes left at the Hall of Fame on the day of Mickey Mantle's death and the letter Lou Gehrig wrote to his wife from a hotel in Detroit on May 2, 1939 -- the day he benched himself after 2,130 games -- almost speak for themselves. And the great names reverberate now and for all time: Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams.
        
All that is best in baseball is here, dramatically brought to life. Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame reflects the teamwork by John Thorn David Jordano, and the staff of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. This is a magnificent souvenir of America's Pastime, its pageantry, and the glories of its continuing history.

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The Hall of Fame is baseball's mecca; every true fan should make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown at least once in a lifetime. And while Treasures, officially sanctioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, can't replace the real thing, it can certainly whet appetites, rekindle memories, and fire up imaginations. Large in size and packed with illustrations, it is great show-and-tell; scores of beautifully photographed artifacts are on display with accompanying text to explain their significance. Flip the pages and you'll find Ruth's and Mantle's locker, Cobb's spikes, Shoeless Joe's shoes, Mays's glove, Aaron's bat--and that barely scratches the horsehide. Besides batracks of expected (and unexpected) Major League memorabilia, other treasures include relics from the Negro Leagues, the minor leagues, and the All-American Girls Baseball League as well as momentos from the press box, the library, the movies, and the art gallery. Sweeping from the mythic Doubleday ball to the present--Treasures would have benefitted from some more recent remembrances--it celebrates the game with affection and bravura, and through its very celebration, offers tangible insight into the National Pastime's firm grip on the national consciousness. --Jeff Silverman

From the Back Cover:


"Every fan should visit Cooperstown. It's gorgeous--just gorgeous. But if you can't (or if you have visited and you want a spectacular memento of the place), you should have a copy of Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame...Treasures should more than satisfy your cravings for baseball history. It takes you inside Cooperstown like no book ever has. You'll enjoy it."

--from the Foreword by TED WILLIAMS

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