Markusen: Highlighting an artifact: the Williams/Paige connection

From SABR member Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times on June 15, 2018:

Like any major museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum faces a quandary: trying to collect as many important artifacts as possible while knowing that only a small percentage of those items can be exhibited at any one time. It’s a challenging numbers game. In total, the Hall of Fame owns approximately 40,000 three-dimensional artifacts, everything ranging from bats and balls and gloves to uniforms, awards and trophies, and even a few non-baseball items (like pocket watches and bracelets). Given the physical limitations of the museum—and it is a good-sized place, featuring three floors—only 10 to 12 percent of the artifacts can be shown on exhibit at any one time.

That situation doesn’t mean the same 10 to 12 percent of artifacts remain on display all the time. They are changed in and out, in part to reflect new exhibits, developing stories, and current events (like the latest no-hitter or perfect game), and in part to preserve items from exposure to light and heat. At times, aging artifacts are given a “breather” from the exhibits and put back into the Hall’s storage area, where light exposure is minimized, and where temperature and humidity can be controlled most effectively.

Among the many artifacts currently contained in storage, or the “vault” as we sometimes call it, is an item that once belonged to Hall of Famer Ted Williams.


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Originally published: June 15, 2018. Last Updated: June 15, 2018.