If you are or have been a regular reader of many of the fine Cardinal blogs across the Internet, you are likely aware that as members of the United Cardinal Bloggers, we regularly engage in different projects as part of that group. You’ll usually find links to all the blogs participating over at the official site and, for the first time, you’ll get to see a number of them right here at The Conclave.
This month is the first of a two-part project. Well, not quite a two-parter, but the June and July assignments are tied together with a Hall of Fame theme. Let’s just take it one step at a time, though, and talk about the June project, which was to determine exhibits and memorabilia that you would like to see included when the Cardinal Hall of Fame opens its doors next year as part of Ballpark Village.
With the rich fabric of Cardinal history to choose from, there are so many things that fans would want to see and experience when they walk through those doors. It seems unlikely you could go wrong unless you wanted a section on the highlights of Ty Wigginton‘s tenure. (I have no doubt our friend Dennis Lawson would have some choice words about where to put THAT exhibit.) There’s no way I could list out all the various things I’d like to see and experience, but here are a few pieces of memorabilia and interactive exhibits that the Cardinals should consider when setting the HOF up.
You wonder if the Cardinals did a little bidding when Ozzie Smith put all of his trinkets and treasures up for bid. Having a Gold Glove on each side of the doorway would be a nice way to welcome people into the building. While you are getting Ozzie stuff, find the “Go Crazy” bat (if it’s not already at Cooperstown) and prominently display that as well.
When the Cardinals brought some of their memorabilia down to Little Rock last year, I noted that they had a pair of Lou Brock‘s shoes. Having those and the last base that he stole in a prime position would be appropriate. Perhaps close to a baseball or glove from Bob Gibson?
Obviously, you’d have a whole wing dedicated to Stan Musial. Jerseys, bats, balls, whatever is possible to display that was touched by that greatness. I expect the family is keeping it, but having Stan’s Presidential Medal of Freedom on display next to a Flat Stanley would be incredible as well.
If you could find it, Branch Rickey‘s desk would be a nice touchstone. Rickey reshaped baseball from that desk with his work developing the minor leagues, so it’d be great to recognize it in that way in the midst of an exhibit on the different general managers of the club’s history.
And, of course, a room with all the team’s World Series trophies is a must. That pretty much goes without saying, doesn’t it?
There’s one obvious selection in this regard. Have a soundproof room with some nice chairs and a big screen showing various Cardinal games. However, instead of the audio that goes with the video, pipe in Jack Buck’s feed from that game. Maybe they are big games, like Mark McGwire‘s 61st home run or the 1982 World Series clincher. Maybe they are just a random game in the ’70s. Whatever the case, hearing the timeless voice again describing baseball would keep people enthralled for hours.
There should be other interactive exhibits, of course. Perhaps a pitching machine that looks like the pitch is coming out of Neftali Feliz‘s hand as the background shows the scene from Game 6. Get a feel for what it was like for David Freese in that crucial moment and see if you can hit what’s coming.
Having a display that shows the logos throughout the years, either printed or on jerseys, is something that we might well see. When I was taking the tour with Ron Watermon during UCB Weekend, he commented on how focused the DeWitts were on hunting things down like this, finding every single logo. You will note a number of them scattered throughout the ballpark now and I would almost guarantee that some version of this will be available to view when the Hall opens up next year.
There are a lot of different things that I’d love to see in a Hall of Fame and I look forward to seeing what all the Cardinals incorporate as they prepare this for the public!