The Campaign to Preserve Our National Pastime
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn Baseball.
There are three things that America will be known for 2,000 years from now: the Constitution, jazz music, and Baseball. They’re the three most beautifully designed things this culture’s ever produced.
“The Smithsonian and Library of Congress” for Baseball
From the day its doors opened in 1939 with a first class of honorees that included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson, to the 2017 election of Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez, John Schuerholz and Allan H. “Bud” Selig, the Hall of Fame has always been the ultimate sports history shrine. Over more than three-quarters of a century, the Hall of Fame has evolved from a single gallery into a world-class museum and a state-of-the-art research center.
The collection and archive includes:
• 40,000 artifacts including bats, balls, gloves, uniforms, trophies and more
• 135,000 baseball cards
• 14,000 hours of recorded media
• 250,000 historic photos
• 3 million pieces in Library collection
• Ensure that the collection is preserved for future generations.
• Continue to build world-class exhibits, both in the Museum and online.
• Take advantage of state-of-the-art technology to increase access to our priceless collections.
• Extend the reach and impact of our Education Program.
• Present compelling educational programs for fans of all ages.
• Reach larger audiences through technology, educating them about baseball and its impact on American culture.
One of my first thoughts of being told of my election into the Hall of Fame was the natural awe of being recognized alongside Cobb, Ruth, Gehrig, and Jackie Robinson. But the Hall of Fame is more. It’s all the kids who ever played the game. It’s all the fans who ever bought a ticket. It’s the first time you took your son or daughter to a ball game. It’s Satchel Paige and Roberto Clemente. It’s the Say Hey Kid, it’s the Duke, the Hammer, Cool Papa, the Mick, Big Train, Pee Wee, Joe D., Teddy Ballgame and many more.
Since opening its doors in 1939, the Hall has been well-managed and has operated on a break-even basis. Unlike other institutions of its stature, however, it has operated without the security of a significant endowment.
The Campaign to Preserve Our National Pastime has 100% participation from the Museum’s Board of Directors and a generous gift of $10 million from Major League Baseball, on behalf of its 30 teams. The Museum has now raised $22 million toward its $30 million goal.
This significant endowment will allow the Museum to keep pace with advancements in exhibition and conservation technology, assuring its priceless collections are always well-preserved; provide for growth in historical research and youth programs; and preserve and build upon the vision set by those who built this American treasure.