Baseball remains America’s Pastime for many reasons – including it’s the sport’s ability to engage crowds in tense moments and across generations of time, simultaneously filling our minds and our senses with vivid impressions of what has been and expectations of what may happen next. And the repository of all shared experience is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, where each year a new class of players are added to the shared experience.
The testimonials of these greats are shown in a series of bronze plaques, recreating the visage of each Hall of Famer with the documentary details of his career achievements. These plaques become fixtures for fans of individual players and teams, who see in them random memories of their own experiences.
Later this month, July 26, four new members will be inducted to the Hall of Fame: Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez. Earlier this year, the Boston Globe undertook to examine the production of the bronze plaque for Pedro Martinez, the Dominican right hander whose small frame belied the power of his pitching presence, and whose mound presence dominated hitters over a 18-year career, amassing 219 wins and three Cy Young Awards, as well as a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2004.
The plaque was cast by Matthews International in Pittsburgh, PA, one of the foremost producers of memorial plaques, sculpture, and statuary in the U.S., and the longtime supplier of plaques to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.