From the NY Post
March 12, 2002 -- You've never seen anything like this. Never.
Baseball season opens today in New York when at least 30 Hall of Famers show up at the American Museum of Natural History for a media preview of the long-awaited Baseball As America exhibit. Doors open to the public Saturday. The exhibit includes 520 priceless artifacts from Cooperstown and will run through Aug. 18 before moving to LA, just like the Dodgers.
This marks the first road game ever for the Hall. Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Bob Feller and so many other legends will be in attendance today, but the storytelling items are the star of this show.
Some, like the Abner Graves letter, which was recently found, have never been seen by the public before and will be featured with the Doubleday ball from baseball's mythic first game in 1839.
The Graves letter was discovered in a box of old books given to the Hall a year and a half ago. This letter was the basis for the conclusion reached by the Mills Commission, headed by Al Spalding, to credit Doubleday with inventing the game. Baseball was here long before Doubleday, though. Graves, by the way, at the age of 90, murdered his wife and was sent to an insane asylum.
"Spalding wanted the game to have an American dad," said Ted Spencer, vice president and chief curator of the Hall of Fame.
There will be Babe Ruth's bat with 28 home run notches carved by Ruth himself, artifacts from the Great Home Run Chase of '98, Jackie Robinson's jersey, the Wonder Boy bat from Robert Redford's classic film The Natural, the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, the world's most valuable card, Jack Norworth's original manuscript of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and so much more, telling the story of baseball as America.
Shoeless Joe Jackson isn't in the Hall, but his shoes are and will be on display. No word on Pete Rose's betting slips.
Aaron allowed the Hall to exhibit letters both pro and con that he received as he set the game's most hallowed record, 755 career home runs, smashing Ruth's mark of 714.
"The exhibit is astounding," said Spencer, noting that six curators have worked two years to create this baseball masterpiece. "We all knew this would be a career-defining project for us."