The nation’s only varsity collegiate cricket team came to Cooperstown this weekend as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its newest exhibit.
On Sunday, the Hall of Fame held an official ribbon cutting for the opening of “Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect.” As part of the celebration, Haverford College’s cricket team visited the Hall of Fame, participating in hands-on demonstrations and presentations for fans of all ages.
According to a Hall of Fame media release, cricket meets baseball in an historic exploration of the relationship between two of the world’s most popular sports in “Swinging Away’s” exclusive American exhibition. The release said “Swinging Away” is the first major museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the roots of both sports and their relationship, featuring game-used equipment from historic moments in both sports, while delving into the origins, history and cultural impact each holds on its respective nations where the games are most revered.
Created in conjunction with the Marylebone Cricket Club of London, “Swinging Away” will be on displaythrough February 2012, in its lone visit to North America.
“’Swinging Away’ captures cricket’s rich history along side baseball’s evolution into America’s National Pastime,” Jeff Idelson, president of the Hall of Fame, said in a the release. “Just as baseball fans make the pilgrimage to Cooperstownto experience the spiritual journey in tracing baseball’s past, so too do cricket fans in making their way to Lord’s in London, to experience the home of cricket. By collaborating on this exhibit with MCC and bringing these treasures to Cooperstown, we are providing fans throughout North America the opportunity to view cricket’s glorious history, while learning more about the relationship between these two pastimes.”
The collection includes uniforms and equipment worn by the biggest names of each sport, including Derek Jeter and Andrew Flintoff, Bengie Molina and Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Paul Collingwood, Robin Wallace and Charlotte Edwards and Shahid Afridi.
“The exhibit examines the relationship between the sports,” Tom Shieber, the senior curator at the Hall of Fame and advisor to the Marylebone Cricket Club for the exhibit, said inthe resease. “It will break down many of the myths for people who are unfamiliar with cricket, and even with baseball.”
Additionally, dozens of artifacts that have never before left the prestigious C.C.
Morris Cricket Library and Collection in Haverford, Pa., will be a part of the exhibition, furthering the study of the two sport’s equipment, rules and laws, key historical moments, and more.
Haverford College plays cricket at tournaments andfestivals and against club teams across the nation. Cricket is Haverford’s oldest sport.