Results tagged ‘ Viva Baseball! ’

We got the gun

DiFranza_90.jpgBy Lenny DiFranza

We just received a pitch-speed gun used by one of baseball’s most famous scouts, Ralph Avila, the Cuban who revolutionized scouting and training in the Dominican Republic for the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting in the 1970s. Avila also opened the Majors’ first Dominican baseball academy, Campo las Palmas.

3-19-09-DiFranza_Gun.jpgWe will include this great artifact in our upcoming exhibit on the history of Latin baseball, Viva Baseball! When Avila heard that we were working on this new exhibit, he sent us a box of artifacts from his career.

These items will help us tell the story of the role of the Dominican baseball academies, which led to the dramatic increase in Dominican players in the Majors and pro baseball in general.

Viva Baseball! is scheduled to open May 23, 2009. It will include a wide variety of artifacts from the U.S. to the Caribbean, ballparks to front offices, and from the 19th century to the present.

Lenny DiFranza is the assistant curator for new media at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

ESPN Deportes broadcasters awed by trip to Cooperstown

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

Kevin Cabral and Carlos Jose Lugo traveled more than 1,500 miles from the Dominican Republic to Cooperstown.

But once inside the Baseball Hall of Fame, the two ESPN Deportes broadcasters felt right at home.

“I stepped inside this building and felt just like a little boy,” said the 40-year-old Cabral, who does play-by-play for ESPN Deportes. “For anyone who loves baseball, this is the place to be.”

3-18-09-Muder_Marichal.jpgCabral and Lugo, who visited the Hall of Fame on March 13, made a special stop in the Plaque Gallery to check out the plaque of Juan Marichal, the only Hall of Famer from the Dominican Republic. The pair also quickly found the ball on display from Marichal’s 1963 no-hitter against Houston — the first Major League no-hitter thrown by a Latin-American pitcher.

“‘Don Juan’ is royalty in the Dominican Republic,” Cabral said. “Not just for what he did on the field, but for the way he carries himself off the field.”

The accomplishments of Marichal and other Latin-American stars will be celebrated with the opening of the Hall of Fame’s new exhibit Viva Baseball! on May 23.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Welcome to Cooperstown

Idelson_90.jpgBy Jeff Idelson

Greetings from Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Welcome to our first official blog.

We’re proud to be entering the world of social networking. We created our first Web site in early 1995, certainly ahead of the curve in the Museum world, riding that cyberwave that society was just beginning to discover. We are excited to now be a part of the blogosphere. You’ll begin to hear from many Hall of Fame staff members about a variety of topics.

In Cooperstown, we have a series of entertaining, educational and interactive exhibit openings and special programs planned between now and Induction Weekend. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

3-16-09-Idelson_Welcome.jpgNext month we’ll open Chasing the Dream, the life story of Hank Aaron and a permanent tribute to one of the game’s lasting legends. From humble beginnings to integrating the South Atlantic League to setting many records in the face of intense racism to becoming a successful philanthropist, Aaron’s life story is fascinating, and you’ll learn much more about “The Hammer” through this exhibit. It opens April 25, and the day will include a formal dedication and ribbon-cutting, a roundtable discussion and a Member reception to close the day. Chasing the Dream is the centerpiece to a new Hall of Fame Gallery of Records, which will open in 2011.

You’ll most certainly want to be in Cooperstown on Memorial Day Weekend when we open our first-ever bilingual exhibit. Viva Baseball! tells the story of how Latinos have changed the face of baseball in America, while giving Museum visitors a taste of how baseball looks and feels and what it means in Caribbean Basin countries, including Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico. This exhibit has a great deal of technology and features our first-ever “talking labels” — Hall of Famers and other Latino stars sharing stories about artifacts in their own words. There will also be an entire wall of television screens, creating an awesome visual of the sights and sounds of Latino baseball, as narrated by 1998 Ford C. Frick Award-winner and the Spanish voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jaime Jarrin.

Cooperstown will be a hotbed of fun, talent and nostalgia Father’s Day Weekend when we stage the first Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, replete with a game of catch on Doubleday Field for fathers and their children, a children’s baseball clinic, Museum programs dedicated to dads and a legends (old-timers) game called the Hall of Fame Classic. The Classic, complete with autograph sessions for ticket-holders, and presented by the Ford Motor Company, will be held Sunday at legendary Doubleday Field, and includes five Hall of Famers and scores of other retired Major League players. We expect the weekend to become one of the Museum’s signature events and the ultimate Father’s Day Weekend destination.

That’s it for now.

Jeff Idelson is the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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