The games of baseball and cricket have remained strongly connected in the USA since the first team sports evolved in America almost 200 years ago.
Now, as spring turns to summer in the States, fans of both games can explore that relationship during a celebration of the Baseball Hall of Fame's new exhibit Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will host Cricket Weekend, June 4-5, with interactive fan events surrounding Swinging Away, the first major Museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the roots of both sports and their relationship. Created in conjunction with the Marylebone Cricket Club of London, Swinging Away will be on display in Cooperstown through February, in its lone visit to North America, following a successful run during the summer of 2010 at MCC, the world's most famous cricket club.
All programs during the June 4-5 Cricket Weekend are included with Museum admission. Special events include a baseball and cricket roundtable, a 'Hands-on History Cart' which explores the different equipment and demonstrations from American College Cricket.
The exhibit reveals some remarkable surprises, dispels some cherished convictions and sets out for the first time to explore these two great bat and ball sports side by side. The collection includes uniforms and equipment worn by the biggest names of each sport, including as Derek Jeter and Andrew Flintoff, Bengie Molina and Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Paul Collingwood, Robin Wallace and Charlotte Edwards and Shahid Afridi.
Additionally, dozens of artifacts which have never before left the prestigious C.C. Morris Cricket Library and Collection in Haverford, Pa., will be a part of the exhibition in Cooperstown, furthering the study of the two sport's equipment, rules and laws, key historical moments, and more.
Among the treasures featured in the Swinging Away exhibit:
* Rare touring jerseys including one in which Casey Stengel met King George V in 1924 and a unique poster of the first truly global baseball tour organized by Hall of Famer Albert Spalding in 1888
* Baseball bats used by Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds
* One of the oldest crickets bat ever discovered alongside the most recent 'Mongoose' and the new experimental colored cricket balls
* Rare photographs and personal items belonging to America's greatest cricketer, J 'Bart' King, a 'Gentleman of Philadelphia' and to Hall of Famer Harry Wright - a cricketer and early baseball star and manager of the Cincinnati Red Stockings
Swinging Away is featured on the third floor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and admission to the exhibition is included with Museum admission. For more information on Swinging Away, please visit www.baseballhall.org