World Series champion Ian Anderson visits Cooperstown

Part of the HOFVISITS series
Written by: Janey Murray

What’s the first trip you should make after winning the World Series? You should go to Cooperstown, of course.

Fresh off his 2021 World Series title with the Atlanta Braves, Ian Anderson visited the Hall of Fame on Dec. 16 with a group of two dozen family members and friends in tow, including his twin brother, Ben, who is a member of the Texas Rangers organization.

For Anderson, a native of Clifton Park, N.Y. – located just 75 miles east of Cooperstown – planning an offseason visit was a no-brainer. And it wasn’t his first trip to Cooperstown: The right-hander played at Cooperstown Dreams Park as a young ballplayer and visited the Hall of Fame on several other occasions with his dad.

But this time was a little sweeter than the ones before, thanks to a few of the Museum’s newest artifacts: A cap worn by Anderson in Game 3 of the World Series, and a ball he threw during that game.

“This is baseball history, and this is going to be part of baseball history forever,” Anderson said. “I think it’s kind of setting in a little bit more now, just what we were able to accomplish.”

Anderson’s visit began with a showing of the Hall of Fame movie, Generations of the Game, then continued with a tour of the Museum’s Library Archives, where the group got to see artifacts such as Eleanor Gehrig’s scrapbook and the note documenting Babe Ruth’s sale to the Yankees, among others.

In the Hall of Fame’s collections storage, Anderson held artifacts from numerous eras of baseball history, from Honus Wagner’s and Ted Williams’ bats to Yadier Molina’s mask from the 2006 World Series and a pair of Albert Pujols’ cleats.

But the main event was the Museum’s newly updated Autumn Glory exhibit, which tells the story of Anderson and the 2021 Braves through a number of artifacts, photos and videos. There, Anderson saw his cap and ball on display, along with artifacts like Joc Pederson’s famous pearl necklace, World Series MVP Jorge Soler’s batting helmet and Freddie Freeman’s bat.

“This was the main thing we were hoping to see,” Anderson said. “It’s pretty awesome. I’ll definitely send a picture to some of the guys and tell them that I stopped by.”

The cap and ball led Anderson to reminisce on a historic night, when he worked five innings without allowing a hit in the Braves’ 2-0 Game 3 victory over the Astros in Atlanta.

It was a surreal feeling for Anderson to see his cap displayed among so many pieces of baseball history, just over a month after Atlanta clinched the World Series title with a win in Game 6 on Nov. 2 in Houston.

“We were joking about it, because it’s a pretty pristine hat,” Anderson said. “I think they pulled it out of the box, and I wore it for the game, and now it’s here. That’s the cool thing about this whole place.”

He’s hopeful that more of his artifacts will be headed to Cooperstown in the future, as the 23-year-old has still only been in the big leagues for two seasons.

Anderson believes his success can serve as an example for young Upstate New York athletes who are aspiring to be exactly where he is now.

“Enjoy it and work hard with it, and maybe one day, you could have your stuff in the Hall of Fame and you can come visit,” Anderson said, when asked to share a word of advice.

“It’s not often from this area that you see people be able to do it, but I just hope it inspires some kids.”

Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the HOFVISITS series