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.
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.
America's armed forces were the first workers to embrace baseball as recreation on a large scale.
During and after the U.S. Civil War they redefined the game from a gentleman's club sport to a working class pastime.
As the 40-hour work week became standard, urban laborers joined company baseball teams.
By the 1920s there were hundreds of these baseball clubs in the United States making it the most popular form of outdoor industrial recreation.
Let's take a closer look.
The players' names engraved on this 1937 New York City postal baseball trophy of Jewish, Italian, and Eastern European as well as Anglo origins attest to the New York post office's multi-ethnic and religiously diverse makeup.
GPO stands for the general post office, which was located at 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets.
Janine Gordon became one of the first female U.S. postal inspectors in 1971.
She wore this t-shirt to play in the Postal Inspection Service's San Francisco division softball tournament in 1995.
The New York Metro Area chapter of the American Postal Workers Union sponsored a women's softball league and awarded this trophy in 1985.
Professional women's leagues flourished during World War II and a handful of females have played in exhibition games in the minor leagues but their opportunities continue to be limited to softball at the college and amateur levels.
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