Friday, July 11, 2008

Baseball Exhibit hits a home run

America's favorite pastime was celebrated this Fourth of July as the Museum unveiled its newest exhibit - From Ty to Cal: A Century of Baseball in Augusta.

From Ty to Cal traces the history of professional baseball in Augusta over the past century, during which the city of Augusta has hosted over a dozen baseball teams, many of which have brought championship titles to The Garden City. Visitors may be surprised at the rich and venerable history of baseball in Augusta. From the 1885 Augusta Browns, the first organized team in Augusta, to the present-day GreenJackets, Augusta has had a long-standing tradition of great minor league teams.

We were honored to have Mr. Lou Brissie, former Major League pitcher for Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Indians, attend the exhibition Preview Party on July 3rd (see photo at left). Mr. Brissie was kind enough to share some of his fondest memories of life in the Major Leagues with Museum members attending the preview and the local media. Mr. Brissie began his professional career with the Philadelphia Athletics, but put it on hold after enlisting with the U.S. Army. Tow years after a major injury received in Italy, upon which he was cited the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, ETO, and American Campaign Medals, Brissie was able to return to the game (23 major operations and one metal plate in his leg later) and continued his pitching career with the As and the Indians.

The exhibition highlights the teams that gave rise to various stars of the major leagues with Augusta connections, and features such prominent personalities as the legendary Ty Cobb, revered as one of the greatest hitters of all time and bearer of the all-time greatest hitting record, to Lou Brissie, Phil Cockrell (a star pitcher in the Negro League), Dooley Womack (former Augusta and New York Yankees pitcher), Moises Alou (former Augusta Pirates outfielder), Billy Johnson (the 1943 Rookie of the Year for the New York Yankees), and most recently, Dustin Pedroia, a former Augusta GreenJackets player, current Second baseman for the Boston Red Sox, and 2007 American League Rookie of the Year and Jonathan Broxton, a star player from Burke County High School and current pitcher for the LA Dodgers.

Through images and artifacts, including baseballs, uniforms, game-used equipment, as well as rare memorabilia, including baseball cards, programs, and promotional items, the exhibit showcases the vivid stories and exciting moments from the last century of baseball in Augusta and illustrates the important role baseball has played in this city’s history.

One exemplary item on display is an authentic 1909-11 T206 Portrait Red Back baseball card of Ty Cobb, a rare piece of baseball memorabilia.

From Ty to Cal: A Century of Baseball in Augusta opened July 4, 2008 to the general public. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $4 for Adults, $3 for Seniors, $2 for Children, and Free for Children under Age 5 and Museum Members. For more information, please contact the Museum at (706) 722-8454 or visit

Baseball's timeless appeal has enraptured its fans for more than 150 years, but there is something particular about baseball that enlivens the senses. Baseball fans are enthralled by the nostalgia, sound of the familiar crack of a bat hitting, true grit of the game, and of course, getting home safely.

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