One thing can be said about the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY: It knows how to connect the dots in baseball history.
In the Hall of Fame Connections YouTube series, produced by MLB Network and made possible by a grant from the Tourism division of I LOVE NY / New York State, the Hall of Fame focuses on how Train 7 is connected to Walter Johnson.
The Camping World-powered series takes the Hall of Fame collection from a new and exciting angle, with each episode telling a different story about how two seemingly disjointed artifacts are linked together in the museum’s vast collection, traversing generations of baseball history.
Each two-part episode features both a narrative storytelling element that winds its way through the history of some of the museum’s most famous artifacts, as well as Hall of Fame curators who mingle with MLB network personality Carlos Peña, a former MLB all -Star., Conversed about these artifacts and stories, and sports journalist Lindsay Berra, Yogi’s granddaughter.
The series consists of 13 episodes, all of which can be streamed for free on the Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/baseballhall. New episodes are released every Wednesday through September and are also shown on the MLB Network’s studio programming.
The fifth episode, entitled “From the 7th train to the big train,” is now available.
Whenever a great game is made in baseball, the Baseball Hall of Fame makes sure it gets a piece of history. Here’s what to expect from the fifth episode.
Meet the Mets (and Mr. Met)
The Mets were born in 1962 and a year later fans were able to collect a souvenir record called “Meet the Mets”. The cover of the single featured an illustration by Mr. Met. A year later, Mr. Met became a larger-than-life Major League mascot with a baseball head. Mr. Met’s companion, Mrs. Met, was founded shortly afterwards by owner Joan Payson, who, according to Berra, got the idea from a friend over dinner.
The famous 7 train takes you to Willets Point in Flushing, NY. In front of the train station is Citi Field, where the Mets play. Before the stadium was built, the Mets played at Shea Stadium from 1964 to 2008. In the first year of its existence, history was made on Father’s Day, June 21, 1964. Phillie’s right-hander Jim Bunning played a perfect game against the Mets. Bunnings Phillies cap from that game is now displayed in Cooperstown.
The wrong side of the story
Tracy Stallard has been at the wrong end of history twice in his big league career. As a member of the Mets, Stallard was the losing pitcher in the game of Bunning. He started the game and pitched 5 2/3 innings, which allowed for six runs out of seven hits in a 6-0 loss to the Phillies. Three years earlier, Stallard was a member of the Red Sox on October 1st. That day he allowed Roger Maris’ 61st home run, which broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in a single season. Maris’ bat and the ball that was beaten by Maris that day are now on display in the Hall of Fame. The fan who caught the ball in the right grandstand, Sal Durante, received $ 5,000 in return, which is now worth $ 45,000, according to the Hall of Fame.
In 1927, Ruth set a major league record with 60 home runs. Those things helped the Yankees win 110 games that year. Twenty-eight of these home runs were struck with a racket now on display in Cooperstown. Each of these homers is represented by a notch Ruth marked on the barrel.
Ruth scored his record-breaking 60th home run against the Washington Senators on September 30, 1927. It was also the last major league game for pitching legend Walter Johnson, affectionately known as “Big Train”. Johnson got the nickname from journalist Grantland Rice, who compared Johnson’s Fastball to a racing locomotive. Johnson didn’t hang up in his last game; he stepped in as a pinch hitter for starter Tom Zachary in the ninth inning, and for good reason. Johnson had an average of 0.348 strokes that season. Johnson eventually flew to Ruth to finish the game. Johnson wasn’t known for his offense, but he was one of the best pitchers who ever lived. He won 417 games with a 2.17 ERA and a record-breaking 110 shutouts. Johnson’s Senators uniform is now on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame.