01/30/2003 8:58 PM ET
HOF exhibit coming to Chicago
Hall of Fame exhibit at Field Museum opens Feb. 8
CHICAGO -- Whether rooting for the White Sox or the Cubs, there's nothing like baseball in Chicago. And in 2003, baseball fans will find no better place to be than the Windy City.
On the South Side, the White Sox have positioned themselves for a playoff run, assembling one of the best 1-2 combos on the mound in Mark Buehrle and Bartolo Colon, an explosive offense led by Magglio Ordoñez and Paul Konerko, and a new closer in Billy Koch.
To the North, the Cubs, looking to improve on last season's disappointing finish, brought in Dusty Baker to manage Sammy Sosa and one of the best young rotations in the game featuring Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano.
Although the city's allegiances remain deeply divided, baseball fans can come together to share a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the game when the Hall of Fame's traveling exhibit Baseball As America opens Saturday, Feb. 8 at Chicago's Field Museum.
The exhibit's six-month stay in Chicago, through July 20, coincides with the season-long buildup to the All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field on July 15 and marks the third stop on the exhibit's 10-city, four-year tour across America. The exhibit opened in New York City last March and then moved to Los Angeles in September.
Baseball As America offers a unique look at the nation's longstanding love affair with the game as more than 500 of baseball's most important artifacts will be on display outside of Cooperstown, the home of baseball's shrine.
According to the exhibit's Web site, "Baseball As America represents the richness of baseball as the American pastime and celebrates enduring American values: freedom, patriotism, opportunity and ingenuity. It appeals to a broad spectrum of the public -- from children just learning to throw a ball to the life-long fan -- and, like the game itself, draws people of all ages and across all cultural heritages. It provides a revealing, inspiring, humorous and dramatic perspective on America's Game and, in
so doing, fosters a new appreciation not only of baseball, but of our national character."
Among the items on display are the Doubleday Ball from 1839, autographed baseballs thrown by U.S. presidents, a Honus Wagner baseball card, Jackie Robinson's No. 42 Dodger jersey, the original transcript of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," the "Wonder Boy" bat from the movie "The Natural," and the bat Babe Ruth used to swat his 60th homer in 1927.
Of course, Chicago's rich baseball history will also be represented, including bricks and a ticket window from old Comiskey Park and a pair of scuffed shoes by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.
Cubs artifacts on display include Harry Caray's glasses, the bat Sammy Sosa used to hit his 62nd homer in 1998 and a Ryne Sandberg glove.
The Field Museum is located at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. For more information on the exhibit, visit Baseball As America (http://www.baseballasamerica.org/exhibition.htm) and The Field Museum (http://www.fmnh.org/baseball/index.html).
Damon P. Young is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By Damon P. Young / MLB.com