Chief curator Daniel Piazza shares intimate knowledge, little-known facts and secrets about the stories told in “Baseball: America’s Home Run,” highlighting some of the spectacular objects on display, including discussions with key lenders to the exhibition on artifacts never-before displayed for pubic view.
New York World's Fair
I'm Dan Piazza, curator of the National Postal Museum exhibition, Baseball: America's Home Run, on view until January, 2025.
Join me for an inside look at some of the most exciting objects from this blockbuster show that explores America's national pastime through stamps, mail and memorabilia.
1939 witnessed a triple header of momentous baseball history moments that focused public attention on the sport's past, present, and future, the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Lou Gehrig's retirement and his Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth speech and the New York World's Fair where fairgoers watched the first televised baseball game.
Let's take a closer look.
Mel Ott belted 511 home runs for the New York Giants becoming the first National League player to hit more than 500 career home runs.
36 of those homers came in 1938 the year he swung this Louisville Slugger bat and wore this road jersey.
The arm patch heralded the following year's World's Fair where baseball history would be made at Flushing Meadows, Queens.
The patch on Ott's jersey shows the trilon and perisphere, ultra modern steel symbols of the World's Fair and its promise to showcase the world of tomorrow.
Among the wonders on display was television which most visitors had never seen before.
Attendees at the fair's RCA exhibit watched the first ever broadcast of a baseball game.
An August 26, 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers - Cincinnati Reds contest played 12 miles away at Ebbets Field.
Brooklyn won that game six to one in eight and a half innings and the era of televised baseball had begun.
For more on the intersection of postal and baseball history, visit the National Postal Museum exhibition, Baseball: America's Home Run online at postalmuseum.si.edu/baseball