Cooperstown, N.Y. — Last night, The Los Angeles Dodgers were crowned as the 2020 World Series Champions. After a pandemic-shortened season with many rule changes and safety protocols to adjust to, the season is now over, but the stories of the 2020 season are still being told.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York is bringing in artifacts from this year and putting them on display in order to keep telling the stories of 2020 in the future.
Helen Donnelly says she felt disconnected from baseball this year. With a looming pandemic, fans not allowed at games, and a shortened season with many changes, the difference was apparent.
“It seemed so empty,” Donnelly said. “Everything about the game this year felt empty.”
That’s why she’s visiting the hall of fame, to get her heart back into the game.
“The moment you step into this hall of fame building, it automatically comes back to you immediately,” Donnelly said.
“2020, there will never be another one in our lifetimes, that’s for sure,” Baseball Hall of Fame Director of Communications Craig Muder said.
Muder believes that’s exactly what the hall is for, connecting people with moments of baseball history, including the most recent 2020 memories.
“People are going to say, ‘oh, I remember that, I remember Corey Seager’s hit, I remember Mike Abrazo’s hit,’ things like that, that’s the connection, and you relive your moments right here in Cooperstown,” Muder said.
“Every piece of that puzzle is important for us to have on file for future generations,” Hall of Fame VP of Education Jon Shestakofsky said.
Shestakofsky went to the World Series in Texas to get game-used items to tell these stories – stories that show the experience of baseball in 2020, from the rule changes, to cardboard cutouts, to calls for social justice.
“The Baseball Hall of Fame is all about how baseball interacts with American culture,” Shestakofsky said.
“Baseball and America grew up together,” Muder said. “So whenever there is a major story happening, whenever there is a major story in America, baseball reflects it.”
“This season must be noted,” Donnelly said.
Muder added that it will actually take a few weeks for the 2020 artifacts to be on display at the National baseball Hall of Fame after following COVID-19 protocol to receive the items.
Some of the artifacts that will be on display are the bat used by Giants outfielder Hunter Pence as the first designated hitter in a National League game, the second base from the first game that ever used the new extra inning rule starting a runner on second, and Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s first pitch of the first modern-era World Series played at a neutral location.