HIGH POINT — America’s national pastime will get a local spotlight this summer, as the High Point Museum pays tribute to the history of baseball in High Point.
“At the Old Ball Game,” a revamped version of an exhibit the museum hosted two years ago, opened Saturday and will remain on display every Saturday through Aug. 14.
“The exhibit looks at baseball throughout High Point’s history,” says Marian Inabinett, curator of the High Point Museum. “It’s mostly photographs, but we’ve got some great vintage photos. I think people really enjoy looking at the photographs, so we intentionally picked ones that we knew people would stop and look at.”
The photos reflect a wide cross-section of baseball in High Point, from the old industrial league teams of the 1930s to the Hi-Toms of the 1950s and ’60s, to the new kids in town, the Rockers. The list also includes youth leagues, school teams, African American teams and women’s softball teams.
In conjunction with a new Rockers season getting under way, the exhibit also includes an original game-day program from the Rockers’ inaugural game on May 2, 2019, at what was then BB&T Point.
Based on the original exhibit in 2019, Inabinett expects the industrial league team photos to be a big draw with visitors.
“That was so big,” she says. “I can’t even imagine how big the industrial league was. That was such an important part of everybody’s life around here back in the ’30s. Then the Hi-Toms came along, and we’ve got some really interesting photos of them, too.”
The exhibit will include mention of some of the famous baseball players who were either High Point natives or played here during their careers. That list includes the likes of Hall of Famers Luke Appling and Eddie Mathews, as well as Curt Flood, Dick Culler, Pep Young, Don Padgett, brothers Ray and Red Hayworth, and others.
“A lot of people don’t realize just how many well-known players we’ve had from here in High Point,” Inabinett said.
According to Inabinett, the museum’s baseball exhibit was planned for 2020, in conjunction with the second season of the High Point Rockers, but the coronavirus pandemic erased the season and shut down the museum, so museum officials decided to put it together this year.
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