Kilgannon: With a single baseball, SABR member Ralph Carhart seeks to connect all 312 Hall of Famers

From Corey Kilgannon at the New York Times on October 3, 2016, on SABR member Ralph Carhart:

The wooden sign for Section 39 flapped in the wind and rain as Ralph Carhart walked past it and headed for a grassy expanse in Calvary Cemetery in Queens where, decades ago, poor parishioners were given charity burials in unmarked graves.

Cemetery officials who were expecting his visit had set a temporary marker in the grass that bore the name Cristóbal Torriente, a baseball star known as the Cuban Babe Ruth, who died in poverty in 1938 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

From his pocket, Mr. Carhart pulled out a faded baseball with the words “The Hall Ball” written in black marker. He nestled it next to the flimsy grave marker and snapped a picture with his phone.

With that, Mr. Torriente became the 287th Hall of Famer that Mr. Carhart has paid homage to since he began his Hall Ball project six years ago.

His mission is to connect with all 312 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, living and dead, by putting the ball in the hand of every living member and visiting the grave of every deceased member, and taking a commemorative photograph.

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Originally published: October 4, 2016. Last Updated: October 4, 2016.