Museums: Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame
Sep 17, 2012 12:06PM ● Published by Anonymous
The museum, located on the ground floor of the stadium, pays homage to the various local professional baseball leagues of the Delmarva Peninsula throughout the past century. Memorabilia such as old-time uniforms, bats, gloves, and baseballs are artfully on display, as well as various photos, newspaper articles, and trophies. Recent baseball history is also represented, with exhibits dedicated to the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Baltimore Orioles.
Admission to the museum is always free, and curator Charlie Silcott says that this sometimes comes a shock to visitors. “People are surprised when we don’t charge for them to come in, because there’s not much free anymore,” he says.
Although the museum was dedicated in May of 1997, its origin can be traced 15 years prior, when a group of former Eastern Shore baseball players decided that they would create the Eastern Shore Baseball Foundation. The group—the original Board of Directors of the Foundation—also decided that they would run a museum to celebrate Delmarva baseball history. While the original plan was to build it on a separate piece of land, Frank Perdue influenced them to put the museum in the Shorebird stadium, which was named in honor of his father.
Various local leagues are displayed in the museum, but the Eastern Shore Baseball League is one of particular importance and notoriety. According to Silcott, this professional league was active at three different time periods in the 1900s, from 1922 to 1928; but stopped because of the Depression; from 1937 to 1941, when World War II began; and from 1946 to1949, when it met its ultimate demise due to the dawn of the television era. “People didn’t want to pay to go to a ballgame when they could stay at home and watch the Orioles on TV for free,” Silcott says.
There are more than 200 members of the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame, and visitors to the museum can view the wall of plaques in honor of these individuals. Anyone can nominate potential inductees, and the Board of Directors votes on their acceptance. However, there is one exception—if an Eastern Shore native plays in at least one Major League game, they are automatically inducted.
Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Shore Baseball Foundation, Kenny Green, says that many visitors come across the museum by accident. He thinks getting the word out about the museum is important, not only so more memorabilia can be collected, but also to ensure more baseball players have the opportunity to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “We are soliciting nominations of players who played on the Upper Shore...we don’t have many people nominated in that area,” he says. “There are a lot of good ball players there.”
The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame Museum is open Mondays, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and opens one hour before each Shorebird game. It is located on the ground floor of the Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, 6400 Hobbs Road, Salisbury, MD 21801. For more information, visit Eastern Shore Hall Of Fame Museum on Facebook, or call 410-546-4444.