I can remember going to Cooperstown in the 1980s when my friend Larry Fritsch was operating his baseball card museum there a couple of blocks away from the Hall of Fame, and it always seemed like vintage cards and the Hall were made for each other.
Cards have always been included in the Hall’s archives, but the significant presentation in ongoing displays has been much more prominent over the last quarter century than it had been earlier.
That understanding of the baseball card as an important element of the game’s history has probably never been better illustrated than in the most recent (Winter 2009) issue of the Hall’s classy Memories and Dreams official magazine.
With – who else? – the T206 Honus on the cover, the issue is almost completely devoted to all things cardboard, save for the wrap-up from the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.
There are articles on the Wagner card – the Hall owns two of them, both from Barry Halper via different routes – and Jefferson Burdick, a sidebar detailing the museum’s handling of its 135,000-card stash, a great feature by our own Marty Appel on another SCD favorite son, Sy Berger, and even a lavishly illustrated piece on Hall of Famers’ recollections of their own cards.
That would seem to be what my grandmother used to describe as “an elegant sufficiency,” but there are also stories about baseball card portraiture, the famed 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie card, a feature about a unique baseball-card artist, and a wonderful glimpse of “A village flipped for cards,” taking you on a brief sortie downtown in the village where cards and memorabilia are just about everywhere.
It’s hard for me to picture anyone even remotely interested in cards and/or memorabilia not wanting to take a look at this.
Simple enough: go to www.baseballhalloffame.org, or call (888) 425-5633.