Neyer: This Cincinnati baseball museum’s a passion play

From SABR member Rob Neyer at on August 18, 2015, with mention of SABR member Bob Crotty:

So here’s a question for you: Let’s say you’ve built a tremendous collection of baseball memorabilia, maybe filling your entire (spacious!) basement, and it’s beginning to feel a little lonely down there sometimes. It’s a difficult thing, but you begin to wonder if maybe it’s time to share your treasures with the world. So what do you do next?

Sure, you could donate your finest items to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. But most of those items would wind up in the basement, there, too. Even more spacious, yes, and perfectly climate-controlled. But still locked away most of the time, enjoyed by only the very lucky few.

You could piece out your collection – here a bat to the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, there a signed photograph to the Ty Cobb Museum in Georgia – but as wonderful as that might feel, a few targeted donations will get you only so far. There are only so many museums, with only so much space.

Finally, you could just open your own museum. Except there’s really no model for such a thing; nearly every baseball museum outside of Cooperstown is both limited in scope and financially subsidized by a professional team or a municipality.

About 10 years ago in Cincinnati, a collector named Bob Crotty had another idea.

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Originally published: August 18, 2015. Last Updated: August 18, 2015.