Cricket and Baseball Meet in Cooperstown for Historic Exhibition, Opening April 16

Collaborative Exploration Connects Continents, Cultures of Two International Sports

March 02, 2011
Three centuries of cricket bats will be included in the coming cricket exhibit. (Marylebone Cricket Club)

View a photo gallery of the exhibit installation process

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The national game of England meets America's National Pastime in an historic exploration of the relationship between two of the world's most popular sports, cricket and baseball, in an exclusive American exhibition, opening April 16 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect is the first major Museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the roots of both sports and their relationship, featuring game-used equipment from historic moments in both sports, while delving into the origins, history and cultural impact each holds on its respective nations where the games are most revered.

Created in conjunction with the Marylebone Cricket Club of London, Swinging Away will be on display in Cooperstown through February 2012, in its lone visit to North America, following a successful run during the summer of 2010 at MCC, the world's most famous cricket club.

"Swinging Away captures cricket's rich history along side baseball's evolution into America's National Pastime," said Jeff Idelson, President, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "Just as baseball fans make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown to experience the spiritual journey in tracing baseball's past, so too do cricket fans in making their way to Lord's in London, to experience the home of cricket. By collaborating on this exhibit with MCC and bringing these treasures to Cooperstown, we are providing fans throughout North America the opportunity to view cricket's glorious history, while learning more about the relationship between these two pastimes."

The exhibit reveals some remarkable surprises, dispels some cherished convictions and sets out for the first time to explore these two great bat and ball sports side by side. The collection includes uniforms and equipment worn by the biggest names of each sport, including as Derek Jeter and Andrew Flintoff, Bengie Molina and Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Paul Collingwood, Robin Wallace and Charlotte Edwards and Shahid Afridi.

Additionally, dozens of artifacts which have never before left the prestigious C.C. Morris Cricket Library and Collection in Haverford, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, will be a part of the exhibition in Cooperstown, furthering the study of the two sport's equipment, rules and laws, key historical moments, and more.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will host two signature events in conjunction with Swinging Away's exhibition in Cooperstown this spring, and public programs throughout the summer will provide visitors a further insight into the exhibition and the relationship between the sports.

On Sunday, April 17, special programs will feature the Haverford College varsity cricket team – the only one of its kind in the United States – in a variety of public demonstrations and presentations. Plans and programs are still in the development stages for the Hall of Fame's Cricket Weekend, June 3-5, with additional details to be announced soon.

Among the treasures featured in the Swinging Away exhibit:

  • Rare touring jerseys including one in which Casey Stengel met King George V in 1924 and a unique poster of the first truly global baseball tour organized by Hall of Famer Albert Spalding in 1888
  • Baseball bats used by Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds
  • One of the oldest crickets bat ever discovered alongside the most recent 'Mongoose' and the new experimental colored cricket balls
  • Rare photographs and personal items belonging to America's greatest cricketer, J 'Bart' King, a 'Gentleman of Philadelphia' and to Hall of Famer Harry Wright – a cricketer and early baseball star and manager of the Cincinnati Red Stockings

Swinging Away will be featured on the third floor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and admission to the exhibition is included with Museum admission.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.