Annual Fund Campaign
A Letter from Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson
Dear Baseball Fans,
Fall greetings from Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s hard to believe the 2012 baseball season is already in the books. I miss baseball, and it’s only been a few weeks. Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby once famously quipped: “People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” I know the feeling.
Looking back on the 2012 season in Cooperstown, thanks to your generous support, we were able to successfully launch a new education outreach program called BASE, which teaches young people about the foundations for healthy living and how to “Be A Superior Example” in society. We also staged our fourth Hall of Fame Classic; and welcomed Barry Larkin and Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame family.
As you know, the heart of any serious Museum is its collections. Players, teams and fans continue to be generous in donating important historic pieces to Cooperstown. We annually acquire between 300 and 400 artifacts, some very old and some very new, as history happens every day. Some of the artifacts acquired from the 2012 season include:
- Glove and cap worn by the Rockies’ Jamie Moyer when he became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game, at 49 years, 152 days
- Ball and the jersey worn by Angels pitcher Jered Weaver from his no-hitter
- Cap and bat from Chipper Jones’ final All-Star Game appearance
- Bat used by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton to hit 4 home runs in a game, when he also set the American League record with 18 total bases
- Baseball from Mets pitcher Johan Santana’s no-hitter, the first in Mets history
Some of the older artifacts and library items acquired this year include:
- Handwritten letter dated June 9, 1870 signed by William Dickson, Captain of the Anchor Base Ball Club challenging members of the Enterprise Base Ball Club to play a return match
- Letterhead from 1906 American Bloomer Girls
- Schedule and scorecards from the 14th Naval District Baseball League, June-Sept., 1945
- Mets batting helmet worn by Gary Carter during the 1986 World Series
- First pitch baseball from President Eisenhower on April 17, 1956; Yankees vs. Senators at Griffith Stadium
- Handwritten contract that Bob Feller signed as a teenager in his hotel room
Though every item in our collection has been donated, there is a significant cost associated with conserving, preserving, cataloging, photographing, digitizing and researching each piece. With your support, we will continue to care for each of the, one-of-a-kind artifacts in our Museum collection of nearly 40,000 items and Library archive of three million holdings.
Beyond being a world-class history museum, the Hall of Fame delivers educational programs to more than 25,000 students across North America annually. Our award-winning curriculum uses baseball as a lens to teach core classroom topics including math, science, character education, geography and women’s history. In addition to the 5,000 students who visit the Museum in person each year to participate in this program, we connect with schools across the nation. Utilizing video conference technology, we reach an additional 20,000 students annually to provide an enriching educational experience. Each program, led by a member of our professional teaching staff, provides students with a meaningful and fun learning experience. With your donation, education will continue to be a hallmark of the Hall of Fame’s mission.
Additionally, with your help, we will increase outreach, awareness and visibility, and improve the quality of our education programs to allow for a more dynamic learning experience.
Together, we have the opportunity to positively affect young people across the continent with engaging education experiences. With your support, we will impact thousands of students as they connect with the Museum in a meaningful way. We have created a white paper which details our education program mission, curriculum and goals, and I hope you will take the time to review it.
I hope we can count on you for a gift to support our mission to preserve history, honor excellence and connect generations. In addition, we hope you will consider a special contribution toward our education programs.
On behalf of our Board of Directors and entire staff in Cooperstown, thank you for your generosity. We are so grateful to have you on our team and look forward to working with you to ensure a bright future for the Hall of Fame.
With Good Wishes,
Jeff Idelson President