Bookend: National Pastime

Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame

November 1, 2014

James L. Gates Jr. (Photo: Milo V. Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)
James L. Gates Jr. Photo: Milo V. Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, celebrated its 75th anniversary this year.

Since its opening in June 1939, the Hall has served as the cornerstone of baseball, honoring the sport’s greats and marking its significance in history over the years. Pictured here, James L. Gates Jr., library director, holds the promissory note for the sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in 1920. The Red Sox did not win a World Series for more than 80 years after the sale, while the Yankees enjoyed tremendous success. “We like to refer to this as a ‘Curse of the Bambino’ document,” Gates says.

Behind him, in the Hall’s collection storage area, is a rack of bats from a variety of historic baseball events. The rack includes bats from Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Ichiro Suzuki.


New York Public Library posted this image on Twitter on October 29 to signal comeback hopes for the New York Mets in the World Series. The friendly social media exchange among several New York and Kansas City libraries has caught the attention of several mainstream media outlets.

Libraries Take Part in World Series–Themed Twitter “Battle”

Kansas City, New York libraries use “book spine poetry” for playful ribbing

At Yankee Stadium during the 1955 World Series, Brooklyn batter Roy Campanella and New York catcher Yogi Berra both start toward first base: Campy attempting to beat out his grounder and Yogi preparing to back up the play.

Take Me Out to the Library

The National Baseball Hall of Fame Library and Museum preserves the rich heritage of America’s pastime