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.
PRESERVING HISTORY. HONORING EXCELLENCE. CONNECTING GENERATIONS.
This simple vision guides the Board of Directors and staff every day. As an independent nonprofit educational institution, the Hall of Fame strives to deepen everyone’s understanding of Baseball wherever it’s played – from Little League to the Major Leagues – and its significant role in American culture. A greater understanding leads to a greater love and appreciation. With great love comes a greater chance that Baseball – intertwined with America’s history and roots – will not only endure, but flourish.
“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 2020 election of Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker, 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
• 200,000 baseball cards
• 16,000 hours of recorded media
• 300,000 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. A robust endowment will preserve and build upon the foundation set by those who built this American treasure.
In 2014, the Hall of Fame launched the Campaign to build its Endowment from $6.9 million to $30 million. We are now closing in on achieving our goal, with nearly $27 million raised to date. Once fully funded, this 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 protect the Hall of Fame from economic downturns.
The Campaign to Preserve America’s Pastime will require extraordinary commitment from those who love baseball and desire to see the rich history of our National Pastime preserved for future generations.