GULILDERLAND, N.Y. – Baseball in the Berkshires in cooperation with the Guilderland Public Library will present an historical baseball exhibit titled “Bats Across the Border,” from June 3 to 29 during normal library hours.
Baseball in the Berkshires is a non-profit whose mission is to present exhibits and educational programs that will assist in telling the story of baseball in the Berkshires. From town ball and the Massachusetts Game to recreational, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball, the history and culture of baseball are entwined in the towns and families from Sheffield and Ashley Falls to North Adams and Williamstown.
The museum’s historical displays, featuring artifacts and stories that originated from the county's residents and visitors, tell the history of baseball in the Berkshires and how it contributed to the famed history of baseball in America. Baseball is truly America's Game, and in the Berkshires baseball has some roots and some very strong branches. Frank Grant and Jack Chesbro are our Hall of Famers, but they are not our only Berkshire diamonds.
From the Broken Window by-law of 1791 in Pittsfield to the first collegiate game in 1859 between Amherst and Williams, and from the early teams: the Old Elms, the Pittsfields, Cuban X-Giants, Hillies, Electrics and the Pittsfield Indians, Phillies, Red Sox, Senators, Rangers, Cubs, Mets, Astros, the Berkshire Bears and of course, the Colonials, the Berkshires have a long and colorful baseball history. No matter what decade you look at, baseball has always had a great following.
Bats Across the Border will be a multimedia exhibit of the history of baseball in the neighboring Berkshire County. The exhibit will be spread throughout the library from the Helderberg Room on the west end to the children’s section on the east end. The Baseball in the Berkshires collection contains more than 1,200 pieces (artifacts, photos, etc.) many of which will be utilized to tell this story. At the same time, New York baseball history will be integrated to show how some of the history strands not only run parallel but are intertwined.
History sometimes seems to elude us even when it is all around us. Baseball is a natural way to learn about history because it parallels what is going on in the world today. We can see this parallel between baseball and history from the spreading of the popularity of the game during the Civil War, to the fight for civil rights and Jackie Robinson, to the acceptance of the Negro Leagues and the unrest still felt across the world today.
Baseball speaks an international language so our possible audience is unending with women interjecting their presence as well. Grandparents will be able to see familiar faces and be able to reminisce of days gone by. Parents will see some history and be able to generate conversation about this great game in “their day.” The younger generation will be able to “measure-up” to some local stars as well as some they have heard about.
This exhibit has been made possible through the generosity of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, WJ Blueprint and Digital Graphics and the Guilderland Library.