Telling the story of baseball – past, present and future – is the aim of a new traveling exhibit that opens at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick this weekend.
You really can’t tell that story without baseball cards. Fortunately, the curators of the exhibit didn’t have to look far for help.
A hand-picked selection from Ken Kendrick’s singular baseball-card collection will be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s We Are Baseball experience, which opens its national tour March 11 during the Diamondbacks-Giants game.
“They will have this exhibit in other cities, and we helped arrange to have it at Salt River Fields,” said Kendrick, the Diamondbacks’ managing general partner. “We think it’s a place where they’ll get a lot of traction for (the tour)” since there are so many baseball fans in the Valley for the Cactus League.
Kendrick’s cards have been displayed at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and last year they were shown at the Phoenix Art Museum. The latter presentation was comprehensive; this one will be more like a greatest hits from his collection. They were selected by Erik Strohl, the hall’s vice president of exhibitions and collections, whom Kendrick said was the “architect of putting the exhibit they will have here together.”
“They wanted to span the history of collecting,” Kendrick added. “They have some of the very early cards, some from the ‘30s and later.”
More than a dozen of the cards, which will be available to view for all ticket holders to We Are Baseball, will be displayed, including pioneers like Cy Young and Ty Cobb to legends such as Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson.
The cards will be exclusive to the tour’s stop in Arizona.
Overall, the We Are Baseball tour is described as a collaboration of baseball and technology. It features a virtual reality experience, and original IMAX movie and artifacts from the Hall of Fame, including the cap Robinson wore in the 1955 World Series, and the ball Ruth hit for his 714th and final home run.
We Are Baseball will appear at Salt River Fields from March 11-26. Tickets are $17 for adults, $5 for children 5-17, and there are special $10 tickets for college students, military personnel and seniors. Children 4 and under are free. Visit HallofFameTour.com for more information.