Learning Curve

Hall of Fame visitors explore the game during Youth Baseball Week

April 23, 2010
Chase (left) and Noel Sosnoski take part in recreating a 1920s baseball radio broadcast. (Samantha Carr/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Although it is Spring Break from school for kids all over the country this week, visitors to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are getting an education.

This week, the Hall of Fame celebrated Youth Baseball Week with educational programs for kids of all ages.

In Going, Going, Gone!, visitors got to recreate the baseball broadcast from Game 7 of the 1924 World Series between the Giants and the Senators.

Fourteen-year-old Chase Sosnoski volunteered and took on the roles of an umpire and advertising commentary while his younger brother Noel, who is 12, provided the in-game noises including the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt.

The Sosnoski brothers are Red Sox fans from West Port, Conn.

“We are visiting our grandparents in New York and they asked us if we wanted to go to the Hall of Fame,” said Chase. “We said YEAH!”

Ken and Carol Sosnoski live in Owego, N.Y., and also took part in the recreation as fans in the stands. The game commentary was controlled by Elizabeth Bernard and her 11-year-old daughter Ava Hunley.

From Covington, La., Bernard and Hunley are on a road trip that began in St. Louis, made a stop at Niagara Falls and will finish in New York City.

Elizabeth Bernard (left) and Ava Hunley provide commentary during Going, Going, Gone! (Samantha Carr/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)“We even got to see a Cardinals game,” said Hunley.

Connect with Louisville Slugger brought visitors on a virtual tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, Ky. where Director of Programs P.J. Shelley taught them all about how bats are made. Shelley served as the manager of visitor services at the Hall of Fame until 2009.

Louisville Slugger switched from carving major league players’ bats by hand when the company first began producing bats to a computerized lathe today. It is much more precise – and they haven’t received any measurement errors like that of Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

“Years ago, Williams sent back a batch of bats complaining that the handle didn’t feel right,” said Shelley. “We measured them, and it turns out they were five-one hundredths of an inch off and Williams could tell.”

Other programs offered throughout the week included Tools of the Trade, which taught about the history of baseball equipment, and Science on the Sandlot, where visitors learned about the basic science behind the game.

Youth Baseball Week wraps up with a visit from STITCH ‘N PITCH on Saturday, April 24. For more information, check out the Museum calendar.

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum