Curator Q&A: What is Your Favorite Object?

Exhibition curator Daniel Piazza answers questions about Baseball: America’s Home Run.

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As the Postal Museum's philatelic curator, always the postal and philatelic material is special to me, particularly the 1939 baseball commemorative that was issued in the United States. We tell the story of that stamp in this exhibit in a fairly detailed way because it's one of those rare instances where a stamp not only commemorates something, in this case the Centennial of baseball, but it also was a protagonist in the story. So the stamp actually contributes to and gives a kind of a federal blessing to the myth of baseball's invention in Cooperstown in 1939, or in 1839. So, I always like those stories where the stamp is not just a a picture but is actually part of the story.

I think if I were to think about some of the non philatelic and postal material that's on display, the item that that I think about frequently is Bobby Thompson home run bat from from the 1951 playoff, the shot heard round the world. I think of that in particular because I know that my grandfather was a big Bobby Thompson fan and I don't think we ever would have gotten him to come to Washington, DC to see the stamp exhibit. He wasn't interested in that at all, that was my deal. But he would have come to see that Bobby Thompson, but he would have come all the way down from New York just to see that. So that's kind of special to me, I guess for personal reasons.