Team Historians Happy to Link Fans to Past of America's Favorite Pastime

By Kuttler, Hillel | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), March 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

Team Historians Happy to Link Fans to Past of America's Favorite Pastime


Kuttler, Hillel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


BOSTON -- On a concourse behind third base at Fenway Park, silent but for the periodic whoosh of the frigid wind, Dan Rea approached a display case devoted to the 1930s-era Red Sox. A ledger inside the case was opened to a page where an accountant once entered players' salaries.

One entry was for Smead Jolley, best known for his "difficulty playing the incline" in left field, Rea said, until the field was leveled during a 1934 renovation.

Rea is one of two Red Sox employees who are also club historians. They belong to a small cadre of people with a passion for major league baseball lore who added such roles to their team jobs and later figured out what to do.

That coincided with the opening of baseball museums at several stadiums in the past decade or so. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins also have employees who work as historians and curators.

Teams understand the customer-relations value of catering to fans' embrace of the past, said Erik Strohl, the senior director of exhibitions and collections for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"I think that those teams recognize that connecting their history to their visitors is one of the most important things they can do," Strohl said.

He added: "It also connects to one's personal history. You may remember going to a game with your father or with your grandfather."

At Yankee Stadium, 375,000 people visited the team's museum while attending sports events and concerts in 2012, said Brian Richards, its curator.

The Mets did not provide attendance figures for their Hall of Fame and Museum at Citi Field.

The Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Royals, the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles house their museums in or adjacent to their home parks. Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Rays' home park, has the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, which is devoted to Williams, a Red Sox great and longtime Florida resident, and other stars of the past.

The Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks no longer have their museums. But the St. Louis Cardinals' museum, which closed when the previous Busch Stadium was razed in 2005, will reopen in a development under construction where the old park once stood, beside the team's current home.

Most baseball teams, like other companies, rely on longtime employees for institutional memory, trusted sources on their past. The Yankees and the Cardinals took a more academic approach.

Months before opening their museum in 2009, the Yankees hired Richards from the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY-Oneonta, which is run in partnership with the New York State Historical Association. He was completing a master's degree in history museum studies while interning at the Hall of Fame.

The course work provided "the perfect training" for a museum career, Richards said, by covering the selection of artifacts and photographs for display, appraisals and shipping, as well as lighting, climate control and insurance.

By then, Paula Homan was well-established as the Cardinals museum's curator and manager. She arrived in 1993 with an unconventional background, at least for baseball. Homan studied art history at Augustana College in Illinois and interned at the campus geology museum, where she made plaster casts of rare fossils.

"My 'in' to the museum world," she said.

Homan worked for museums in Iowa and joined the Cardinals with only a passing interest in the sport, but now, she said, "I think I can say I'm a baseball fan."

The 16,000-piece collection Homan oversees includes about 1,000 photographs, bats, trophies and uniforms donated by Stan Musial, the team's iconic slugger, before his death Jan. 19. While awaiting the museum's reopening, Homan arranges traveling exhibitions. Last season, for example, she lent the Cardinals' 2011 World Series trophy, a Dizzy Dean jersey and a Lou Brock bat to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Ark. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Team Historians Happy to Link Fans to Past of America's Favorite Pastime
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.