Historic Photos, Documents of Inaugural Class of 1936 Featured in Museum’s Latest Additions to PASTIME

Online Offerings Growing Bi-Weekly at collection.baseballhall.org

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – More than 80 years after their election, the members of the Class of 1936 remain baseball’s most royal figures.

Now, thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Digital Archive Project, hundreds of rare images of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner will be available to a worldwide audience seeking to discover and celebrate the game’s first icons.

The latest additions to the Museum’s PASTIME online offerings at collection.baseballhall.org debuted today and feature rare documents like insurance policies, check ledgers and estate papers; unique family photos; and images of three-dimensional artifacts in the Museum’s collection relating to the first five Hall of Famers. Elected as a prelude to the opening of the Museum in 1939, the Class of ’36 remains the only occasion the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has elected as many as five Hall of Fame candidates in one year.

Drawing from seven decades of big league baseball history available at the time, the BBWAA produced an unparalleled Hall of Fame class. Cobb, Johnson, Mathewson, Ruth and Wagner remain larger-than-life figures in American history, and their work on and off the field still informs and influences today’s game.

Previous images already uploaded to the collection include scrapbooks on Ruth’s career and documents and photos from the Negro Leagues and post-Negro Leagues that tell the story of baseball’s pioneering African-American community. Additional digitized material – including photos, audio, video and text – from the Museum collection will be published every other Wednesday as the Museum adds to the PASTIME (Public Archive System To Interact with the Museum Electronically) online collection.

The next group of materials scheduled to be available on PASTIME beginning Oct. 19 will include images of the World Series rings from the Museum’s collection and also feature images from the Museum’s Postseason collection. The Nov. 2 additions to collection.baseballhall.org will feature items from the late 19th century and early 20th century world tours that took baseball around the globe.

As these items are added to PASTIME, fans will be able to explore the Museum collection as they plan their visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, or continue their exploration of baseball history after they tour the Museum.

With more than three million Library items, a quarter of a million unique images and 40,000 three-dimensional artifacts representing baseball’s illustrious history, the Museum preserves an immense physical collection that brings baseball history to life. Through the Hall of Fame Digital Archive Project, the Museum, over the next several years, will continue to digitize its collections, making PASTIME the online resource for baseball history.

The goal of the Project is to provide online access to the precious artifacts and documents that are preserved in Cooperstown for fans and researchers around the globe, while ensuring that they are digitally archived for future generations of fans. PASTIME will become the online portal for fans and students of the game to relive baseball’s greatest moments through the Museum’s collection.

The project is dependent upon the continued generous donations of passionate baseball fans, along with support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY, New York State’s Division of Tourism, as a part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council awards.