His signature television role has James Denton portraying a plumber, a man accustomed to behind-the-scenes areas in buildings.
But when Denton – one of the stars of the ABC hit television series “Desperate Housewives” – visited the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, his tour of the Museum archives left him with an unaccustomed sense of wonderment.
“This is amazing,” said the 48-year-old Denton, who has played Mike Delfino on ‘Desperate Housewives’ since it first debuted in 2004. “Just to have a look around… We’re going to stay until they throw us out.”
Denton visited the Museum with his brother, David Denton, and friends Mike Petty and Robert Diehl – each of whom refer to him as “Jamie.” Dressed in a polo shirt and jeans, the chiseled Denton is a lifelong baseball fan who is also part owner of the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League.
“The closest I ever got to the Hall of Fame before this was when I played Sandy Koufax in a movie,” Denton said. “Let me tell you, it was a lot easier making people believe that I was a left-handed pitcher than it was convincing them I was a Jewish kid from Brooklyn.”
Denton, who grew up in Tennessee and now roots for the Minnesota Twins, showed off a keen knowledge of history during his tour, asking about subjects ranging from Babe Ruth to former broadcaster-turned-President Ronald Reagan.
But many of the Museum’s artifacts – like a Gil Hodges jersey and a Honus Wagner bat – left the talented actor virtually speechless.
“We’re never going to forget this day,” Denton said. “The history here is just something else.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.