Baseball as America

April 3, 2004 – October 3, 2004

National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing Gallery (Hall 11) Floor Plan

This exhibition examines the roles baseball has played in American culture and how it has become an integral part of American life, affecting everything from our language and literature, to communication and entertainment, to our health and diet. Themes include the rituals and myths of the game, immigration, nationalism, integration, technology, and popular culture. The approximately 200 objects in this exhibition are traveling from Cooperstown's National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for the first time.

Highlights include:

  • the Doubleday Ball from baseball's mythic first game in 1839
  • Jackie Robinson's 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey
  • artifacts from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • record-setting bats from the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run chase of 1998, as well as those of Babe Ruth (home run #60 in 1927) and Roger Maris (home run #61 in 1961)
  • Franklin Delano 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 1949 painting The Three Umpires
  • the "Wonder Boy" bat from the 1984 movie The Natural
  • a 1908 Edison recording of "Casey at the Bat"
  • "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's shoes
  • the most valuable baseball card in the world, the T206 Honus Wagner

No photography permitted


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