Sporting Cousins: Hall of Fame Celebrates New Swinging Away Exhibit with Weekend Programs To Explore Baseball’s Relationship to Cricket

Interactive Events Open to Museum Visitors June 4-5 in Cooperstown

May 25, 2011
The Hall of Fame will celebrate Swinging Away on June 4-5 in Cooperstown. (Samantha Carr/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The games of baseball and cricket have remained strongly connected since the first team sports evolved in America almost 200 years ago.

Now, as spring turns to summer in Cooperstown, fans of both games can explore that relationship during a celebration of the Hall of Fame's new exhibit Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will host Cricket Weekend, June 4-5, with interactive fan events surrounding Swinging Away, the first major Museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the roots of both sports and their relationship. Created by the Marylebone Cricket Club of London, with assistance from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Swinging Away will be on display in Cooperstown through February, 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.

All programs during the June 4-5 Cricket Weekend are included with Museum admission. The Saturday and Sunday weekend schedule for the Swinging Away celebration includes:

Saturday, June 4

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Hit and Run: Cricket and Baseball. Swinging Away Exhibit, Museum's 3rd Floor
Stop by the new Swinging Away exhibit and experience the Hands-On History Cart that explores cricket and baseball. In this informal program, Museum staff will talk with visitors about the rules of cricket and how it compares with baseball, and visitors will have the chance to examine the similarities and differences of equipment used to play both sports.

1 p.m. - Baseball and Cricket Roundtable, Bullpen Theater
Join us for a special roundtable discussion about the connections between baseball and cricket, both past and present. This hour-long program will feature special guests Paul Hensley of the C.C. Morris Cricket Library, Lloyd Jodah of American Cricket College, and Manhattan College professor and sports historian George Kirsch, moderated by Hall of Fame senior curator Tom Shieber.

3 p.m. - Authors Series: Baseball and Cricket: The Creation of American Team Sports, 1838 – 1872, Bullpen Theater
Professor and sports historian George Kirsch visits the Hall of Fame during Cricket Weekend to discuss his book, Baseball and Cricket. This program is part of the Museum's Authors' Series, which features authors of the most recent baseball works. During each program, authors discuss their work and answer audience questions. After the cricket program concludes, Kirsch will participate in a book signing in the Museum.

Sunday, June 5

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Hit and Run: Cricket and Baseball. Swinging Away Exhibit, Museum's 3rd Floor
Stop by the new Swinging Away exhibit and experience the Hands-On History Cart that explores cricket and baseball. In this informal program, Museum staff will talk with visitors about the rules of cricket and how it compares with baseball, and visitors will have the chance to examine the similarities and differences of equipment used to play both sports.

11 a.m. – Meet American College Cricket players, Bullpen Theater
Meet the cricketers from American College Cricket teams, who will talk about the history of their sport and answer visitor questions in this 45-minute program.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - Cricket Demonstrations
Join members of the cricket clubs to learn the basics of playing cricket as they demonstrate some of the tactics and techniques of a successful cricketer.

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., 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.

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 is featured on the third floor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and admission to the exhibition is included with Museum admission. For more information on Swinging Away, please visit www.baseballhall.org.

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.