Play Ball

Play Ball

Anchorage Museum’s new exhibit, “Home Field Advantage: Baseball in the Far North”, a history of baseball in Alaska, features two objects on load from the Valdez Museum collection. They are a Pinzon Bar baseball team jersey and a wooden baseball bat. The unique baseball bat was carved by Joe Bourke in Copper Center for the 1898 4th of July celebration.

The Anchorage Museum states:

“On its first official Fourth of July celebration in 1915, Anchorage built a new baseball diamond amid a ramshackle tent city sprawled across the flats of Ship Creek. Baseball was becoming a national craze, and Alaskans made it distinctly their own.”

“Home Field Advantage reveals how this national pastime adapted to arctic conditions. Archival photographs, art, artifacts and memorabilia showcase the rich history of baseball in Anchorage and throughout the state, including how late 19th century icebound whalers spread ashes on sea ice to form baseball diamonds. Visitors also learn about early Ketchikan teams, whose beach-based games were called due to high tide, and how some Major league players, including Satchel Paige, once played in the far North.”

The exhibition will be on display through November 1st, 2025