By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN — Like Dorothy taking her first steps on the Yellow Brick Road in the Land of Oz, first time visitors to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are often advised that “it’s always best to start at the beginning” moving in a linear and chronological fashion through the game’s formative years and early history.
Returning visitors to the museum and more seasoned veterans might make a beeline to a new installation or favorite exhibit moving through the museum at their own pace or in a more unorthodox fashion; like former New York Met Jimmy Piersall circling the bases backwards when he hit his 100th career home run.
The Hall of Fame’s new “Starting Nine: The Must-See Artifacts from Your Team” and “Ultimate Fan Experience” allow fans to carve their own path through the museum on an interactive scavenger hunt through their favorite teams’ histories.
Devised by the Hall of Fame’s curatorial staff, “Starting Nine” highlights nine team-specific objects for each team, culled from tens of 1,000s of artifacts in the Hall’s collection.
Visitors can begin their journeys almost anywhere they choose after receiving a team “line-up card” available at the Hall on its mobile website.
Looking through teams’ Starting Nine lineup cards, the game’s history and evolution unfolds and stirs the reflective imagination and makes one realize the depth of the Hall of Fame’s collection, including:
The catcher’s mitt that Yogi Berra wore when he caught Don Larsen’s perfect World Series game in 1956;
Roberto Clemente’s retired No. 21 Pittsburgh Pirates jersey;