New Baseball-themed exhibit open at the Michigan Historical Museum

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Summertime in Michigan wouldn't be the same without baseball. The crack of the bat, the old English ''D'' and the sound of the ball smacking the glove are familiar to us today, but what was the game like in the 1860s? For starters, they didn't use gloves. Find out how the game was played, how the equipment has developed over time, and take a look at Detroit Tiger legend Al Kaline's uniform at the Michigan Historical Museum's ''The Old Ball Game'' exhibit.

While seemingly timeless, the game of baseball has changed dramatically in the 162 years since the rules were first formally written. Every piece of equipment used on the diamond - from players' caps down to their cleats - has changed. The exhibit, ''The Old Ball Game'' includes select artifacts from the museum's collection that explore the history behind mitts, gloves, baseballs and uniforms. Among the treasured items are a catcher's mitt from 1920; a 1860s-era baseball; a 1920 catcher's mask, and of course, Al Kaline's Detroit Tigers uniform bearing the enduring old English ''D.''

The exhibit, located on the museum's second floor, will be open through Sept. 16. The museum is open seven days a week. It is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 West Kalamazoo St., Lansing. The museum and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/museum or call 517-373-3359.

Copyright © 2011 State of Michigan

Published: Mon, Jul 4, 2011

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