It seems fitting that baseball’s largest catalog of information and materials would be housed in baseball Holy Land. That’s definitely true with the Giamatti Research Center, located inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Along with a lengthy collection of baseball-related books, movies, periodicals, magazines and even audio and video clips, the most fascinating part of the world-class research center is the baseball player files, located upstairs beyond where the public’s eye can reach. Since 1871, if a baseball player has appeared in a major league game, they have a file there. Any news clipping or article ever written about these players is on file.
As you can imagine, the entire floor is stacked to the ceiling with file cabinets. Some files, like Hank Aaron, take up masses of space, while others who only played a single game are a little lighter. Even some umpires have files, and one of my favorites was Michael Jordan’s file, for when he played for the Chicago White Sox’s AA affiliate, the Birmingham Barons in 1994.
When I interned at the Hall of Fame in the summer of 2013, I spent a lot of time in the player archives researching different players. I would use the research to build stories off of for the Hall’s weekly e-newsletter (you can read some of my pieces here, if interested). Mostly, the research center is used by journalists and writers penning the next great baseball book. There would always be several individuals looking up stats or reading past articles on players in the lobby of the facility, under the watchful eye of the Hall of Fame staff, of course.
It’s quite the place, and I guarantee you that if you have any question, obscure or run-of-the-mill, it can be answered at the Giamatti Research Center.
All images property of Andrew Kivette.