LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — For four years, the "Baseball in the Berkshires" exhibit has chronicled, preserved and displayed local artifacts of America's pastime.
This month, one of those artifacts is getting the call up to "the show."
Since 2016, the exhibit, now housed at the Berkshire Mall, has displayed a 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers jacket worn by Dalton's Ed Ladley during his playing days.
On Feb. 13, Ladley will donate that piece of history to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"Two months ago, the Hall of Fame came out with an article talking about the rookie teams the New York teams had in the '50s," Baseball in the Berkshires' co-founder and curator Larry Moore said this week. "Of course, it mentioned the Dodgers' rookie team. I gave them a call and asked if they had a Dodgers rookie jacket in their collection. They said they didn't.
"So I went back to the Ladleys and asked if they were willing to donate, and they said that would be great."
Next Tuesday, the Hall of Fame will host the Ladley family for a ceremony at the Cooperstown museum's Bullpen Theater.
But first, the artifact will get a send-off with Sunday's reception from 1 to 2 p.m. at "Baseball in the Berkshires: A County's Common Bond."
Moore, himself an educational consultant to the Hall of Fame, said it is a feather in the cap of the local exhibit to have one of its former exhibition pieces preserved in Cooperstown.
"It's really, really nice to show how much history there is in Berkshire County, all the way to the point that one of the artifacts of a person who has meant so much to baseball and sports in Berkshire County in turn being donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame so the whole country can see it," Moore said.
February is a busy month at the Berkshire Mall exhibit.
In addition to Sunday's reception for Ladley, Baseball in the Berkshires plans a Saturday, Feb. 17, event in honor of Black History Month.
Former Pittsfield Cub Bryan House and Pittsfield native Joe Bateman will be on hand to talk baseball and sign autographs from 1 to 2 p.m. and 2 to 3, respectively.
Bateman, who played baseball at Pittsfield High and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, pitched for parts of 10 seasons in the minor leagues in the San Francisco, Oakland, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay organizations after he was drafted by the Giants in 2002.
House was an infielder and outfielder who was drafted in the ninth round by the Cubs and played at Wahconah Park in 1987 and '88, part of a seven-year minor league career.
"He wasn't from Berkshire County, but he ended up marrying someone from Berkshire County and resides here now," Moore said.
The Cubs' five-year run in Pittsfield, of course, features prominently in Baseball in the Berkshires, but it is just part of an ever-growing story, told by the exhibit, first launched at Arrowhead in 2015.
"When we opened, we had about 300 pieces," Moore said. "Now, we have over 1,200. It's just really, really expanded with pictures and other artifacts.
"When we wrote our book [published in 2016], we had 100 minor league players from Berkshire County. Now, we know about more than 135."
"Baseball in the Berkshires: A County's Common Bond," is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 at the Berkshire Mall.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.
How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.