Ever imagine what it would be like to play Major League baseball? Manage a Major League team? Or call a Phillies game from the booth? You’re not alone. Baseball fans of all ages have been imagining themselves in America’s greatest game since the 19th century. Board games, action and simulation games, and eventually Fantasy Baseball have all satisfied the desire to feel a part of the game. For over a century these games have come in many shapes and sizes—from lushly-illustrated board games to metal pocket games no bigger than a dreidel. They reflect baseball’s greatest historical moments and characters, and, at the same time, the essential timelessness of our national pastime.
I am excited to announce that the Museum will be showing a selection of these baseball home games, collected by Philadelphia’s own Dr. Mark Cooper, as a taste of a special exhibition opening next March called Chasing Dreams, which will explore and celebrate what baseball has meant to Jews and other minority communities in America. This summer we also welcome the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) conference to Philadelphia—stop by and check out “Imagining Baseball” on the Museum’s first floor, which is open free of charge every day that we are open to the public.
The games will be on view through this year’s World Series.We’re also looking for YOUR treasured baseball memorabilia to help tell this national story. Do you have baseball memorabilia you would like to offer to Chasing Dreams? Share it with us at chasingdreamsbaseball.tumblr.com.
Contributed by Ivy Weingram, Associate Curator