#Shortstops: Hooray for Hollywood
But Redling’s cap from his lone professional appearance now has a home in Cooperstown – thanks to a little luck, decades of care and a story tailor-made for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
“From Moonlight Graham on down, there are lots of stories of guys who have had the proverbial ‘cup of coffee’ in baseball,” said Tom Shieber, the Hall of Fame’s senior curator. “Yet that one game was clearly important to Charles Redling. Otherwise, why keep the cap? That story resonates.”
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For the Museum’s Accessions Committee – which accepts only about 25 percent of all items offered – it was an easy “yes”.
“First of all, we don’t have a lot of Hollywood Stars or PCL items from what is arguably the heyday of the PCL,” Shieber said. “And the level of play in that league was exceptional. Earl Averill, Lefty Gomez, Bobby Doerr, Tony Lazzeri, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, the Waner brothers: All future Hall of Famers and all came up through the PCL. So this artifact helps us talk about this important league.
“Then when you add in the fact that Charles Redling was basically plucked off the sandlots to play one game, it becomes a story that goes even deeper. It represents thousands of players like him throughout the game’s history: Players who flirted all too briefly with the dream of playing pro ball.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum