Bill collects baseball memorabilia. Or to be more accurate, he acquired baseball memorabilia back in the 1990s on a super tiny budget. Plus he had some vintage baseball cards from his childhood. His “collection” was housed in approximately 16 large plastic bins that we moved from our large house to the basement of our slightly smaller current house. In the 14 years since, these treasured items have remained hidden away in the basement, largely ignored and perhaps even forgotten.
When we hatched the idea of downsizing our stuff and selling the house so we could travel for a few years, I erroneously assumed that Bill would be willing to part with his collection of neglected baseball memorabilia and that we might pick up a few bucks along the way. He wasn’t interested in jettisoning everything, but after pain-staking research about every single item, he pared his collection down from the original 16 bins to 6 somewhat smaller bins containing just the good stuff. At least that’s what he tells me.
Anyway, I share that information because it provides context for our visit to the History Colorado Center in Denver. One of many cool local attractions that’s been on our “want to do” list for a long time. We finally made it happen when we learned about the special Play Ball Exhibit featuring selected items from a local Colorado collector named Marshall Fogel, including a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card in gem mint condition that is apparently worth serious money. Here’s a little background on this particular card:
And here’s a photo of the actual card, which we stood in line not once, but twice to view:
While the card was definitely a highlight, it wasn’t the only attraction. We also attended a lecture by Mr. Fogel, during which he opined on why the game of baseball is truly America’s pastime and shared tips for collecting memorabilia. If you’re curious about either topic, you’ll have to do additional research, as I can’t adequately convey his views about the former in a coherent fashion, and I didn’t pay much attention to the latter.
The larger exhibit included not a single additional baseball card. Instead, it showcased bats of famous players and advertising posters and uniforms and ball gloves and other such items. The last piece of the exhibit recounted the history and highlights of Denver’s professional baseball teams over the years – the Bears, the Zephyrs and the Rockies.
And just for the record, we attended the home opener of the Colorado Rockies back on April 9, 1993, in which they beat the Montreal Expos 11-4 in front of a crowd of 80,227 at Mile High Stadium. We let the boys play hooky from school and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere as well as the game.
Before I close out this post, I should mention that the History Colorado Center has other terrific exhibits that will require another visit to fully explore. My favorite so far is called Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects. Presented by Colorado State University, it’s a collection of 100 artifacts that tell the story of how Colorado became Colorado.
Overall rating of our trip to the History Colorado Center? An enthusiastic thumbs up!