Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum announced the opening of Baseball Heroes: Works from the Jay H. Baker Collection, which will grant museum visitors exclusive access to one of the most significant collections of baseball memorabilia outside of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The immersive multimedia installation celebrates baseball as an integral part of American life for nearly 200 years through the presentation of original objects related to the careers of five iconic New York Yankees players: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter. Baseball Heroes will be on view now through May 15, 2022.
“Artis—Naples’ theme throughout our multidisciplinary 2021-22 season is Esprit de Corps, and Baseball Heroes is certainly a prime representation of the value of teamwork,” said CEO and president Kathleen van Bergen. “We are thrilled to welcome visitors again to experience communal cultural activities and to enjoy this unparalleled collection of baseball memorabilia that truly helps explain the grip that ‘America’s game’ has on the world.”
Museum director and chief curator Courtney McNeil said she hopes the exhibition will inspire visitors to reflect on baseball’s influence on American identity. “These five players—Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter—are seen through the exhibition as not just baseball heroes, but also as figures who transcended the sport of baseball to become cultural icons,” McNeil said. “This exhibition celebrates both their talents and their humanity.”
Baseball Heroes presents original documents and artifacts coupled with historical photographs, film from iconic moments in the sport and dynamic large-scale graphics. More than 130 artifacts from the collection of Jay H. Baker are on view, including Ruth’s earliest known game-used bat, Mantle’s first signed professional contract and the jersey worn by Jeter for his Yankees debut in 1995. Seminal moments in the history of the sport are represented in the contract by which the Red Sox sold Ruth to the Yankees, giving rise to the legendary “Curse of the Bambino,” and the uniform worn by Don Larsen when he pitched the only perfect game to date in a World Series.
The Baker Museum is located at 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., in Naples. For more information, call 239-597-1111 or visit www.artisnaples.org