While most fans are stuck in their homes for the foreseeable future, that doesn’t mean they can’t spend an afternoon buried in endless amounts of baseball history.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, like many other organizations and public places, is currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. But its PASTIME online collection could be the perfect antidote for cabin fever. Hundreds of thousands of artifact images, document scans, oral history audio clips and videos are stored and publicly available on the museum’s digital depository, providing a profound escape for fans itching for semblances of baseball right now.
A stroll through the Hall’s online collection could include a look through its massive scouting report database that includes early appraisals of future Hall of Famers like Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter and Vladimir Guerrero. (The first name listed there alphabetically? Yankees manager Aaron Boone.) Oral histories include a wide-ranging interview with Emmett Ashford, the Major Leagues’ first African-American umpire. Babe Ruth’s personal letters and telegrams are ready for viewing, as are high-quality images of many of the Hall’s three-dimensional artifacts — right up to some of the most recent additions, like the glove Aaron Sanchez used to begin the Astros’ combined no-hitter last August. Fans can even take digital tours of several of the museum’s exhibits.
But really, the best way to enjoy the Hall’s online collection may be to just pull up the empty search bar, take a deep breath and begin the deepest of dives. Enjoy.