By TED POTRIKUS • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The plane from Houston, Texas touched down Wednesday afternoon at the Albany International Airport not 24 hours after the Atlanta Braves dispatched the Houston Astros in six games to win Major League Baseball’s 2021 World Series, and on that flight was an important duffel filled with artifacts destined for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.
An enthusiastic and knowledgeable gaggle of young baseball players from suburban Albany schools crowded around Hall of Fame Vice President for Communications and Education Jon Shestakofsky as he unpacked the precious parcel and displayed the items for the wide-eyed boys. He tried to quiz them, but, with every item he showed, at least one baseball fan was far ahead of him and knew every last detail of the Braves’ and Astros’ championship seasons.
“You’re answering all my questions before I can even ask them!” Mr. Shestakofsky laughed as the ballplayers lobbed questions, answers, and game-specific statistics back and forth with the Hall’s experts.
Those World Series mementos are on their way now to the Hall of Fame for display to the public, among them:
· Spikes worn by Braves Game Six starter Max Fried, who pitched six shutout innings to earn the win;
· Batting helmet worn by World Series MVP Jorge Soler;
· Glove used by National League Championship Series MVP Eddie Rosario;
· Ball thrown by Braves Game Three starter Ian Anderson – himself a native of New York’s Capital District – who did not allow a hit over his five-inning start;
· Spikes worn in Game Six by Braves reliever Will Smith, who did not allow a run in 11 postseason appearances;
· Cap worn in Game Six by Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson;
· Jersey worn in Game One and Game Two by Braves manager Brian Sniter;
· Cap worn by Astros manager Dusty Baker during the regular season; and
· Batting helmet worn by American League Championship Series MVP Yordan Alvarez during the postseason.
These and other pieces from the 2021 postseason will be featured in the Autumn Glory exhibit, on display through the 2022 postseason. The Hall will announce the opening of the 2021 postseason version of Autumn Glory in the coming weeks.
The Hall of Fame is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.baseballhall.org.