| Detroit Tiger Legend Al Kaline’s uniform was donated |
to the museum by the Detroit Tigers in 1989. Kaline
never played a game of minor league baseball as
he went straight from high school to the major leagues.
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 has equipment 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 opening Thursday, June 30.
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 player’s 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, and 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.
The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage. It includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/museum.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.