Exhibition curator Daniel Piazza answers questions about Baseball: America’s Home Run.
Curator Q&A: What Do You Hope Visitors Will Take Away From Their Visit?
One of the things I hope visitors get out of this exhibition really is a look at, and a better understanding of some of the stories that have been left out of the traditional narratives on baseball history. And we explore some of that very directly in the exhibit.
Like for instance, Albert Spalding's 1911 book called our National Game, and where he seeks to find the origins of baseball, but totally leaves out, for example, the Mesoamerican ball games that were played in this hemisphere, and I think, had a great effect on how we think of baseball games today. Maybe not the rules of the game necessarily, or how it was played, but in things like the ballfields being located in great city centers and being a spectacle with thousands of viewers, I think a lot of that is a heritage that modern sports, baseball in particular, gets from the Mesoamerican game that was overlooked in writing that history of the sport.
You know the role, obviously that African Americans have played in the history of baseball has gotten a lot more attention recently. But we are able to give dimension to that story through artwork and letters. Artwork and letters, and personal items, in this case, we have a lot of players' personal items, their clothing, their uniform, their bats. They give a very intimate look at history rather than, rather than some of the larger view that you get from other types of artifacts. Stamps and mail, and clothing and bats really encourage an intimate experience with these players and really understanding what their experience in their life was like. So, it brings it on a human scale and I think that's something that visitors will take away from the exhibit, recognizing that a lot of these players that we see only in, now in old footage or photographs, that they were, that they were flesh and blood and had these, had these amazing stories both on and in some cases off the field and we get into a lot of that in the exhibit.