Vintage Baseball Card Exhibit in Fresno

(March 30, 2016) – The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series 107 years ago, led by Fresno High School alumnus and player-manager Frank Chance, now best remembered by the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance refrain from the poem “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon.” The trading cards of Chance, fellow Baseball Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Bobby Cox, and 25 other pre-2000 major-league players with Fresno-area ties will be exhibited at Fresno State’s Madden Library from April 1 to May 30, 2016.


The display of over 380 baseball cards from the 20th Century will be the inaugural exhibit of the Fresno-based American Baseball Card Museum. The Museum is a new public charity with the mission to promote and facilitate the study and appreciation of American culture, history, and art through baseball cards. The Museum’s strategy is to build its collection with tax-deducible card donations from aging collectors.


Most local baseball fans will recognize the featured players from the 1960s and later, such as Dick Ellsworth, Jim Maloney, Pat Corrales, Rex Hudler, and Tom Goodwin. Few will recognize colorful old-timers like Frenchy Bordagaray, the only major league player to wear a mustache between 1914 and 1972, or Hub Leonard, holder of the modern-era season record for lowest ERA from his 1914 season, and who accused Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker of conspiring to throw a game.


The exhibit includes over 35 Frank Chance tobacco and candy cards from the beginning of the century, over 30 different Dave Henderson cards from near the end of the century, and many cards in-between. There will be cards from the T206 set (the set that has the iconic Honus Wagner card), from American Caramel, T205, Goudy Gum, Sporting News, Play Ball, Bazooka, Mecca, Turkey Red, Hassan, National Chicle, Red Heart, Signal Gas, Zeenut, Bowman, and Kellogg sets, and from nearly every Topps set from its initial one in 1951 through 1999.


The show will feature a cutting-edge technology to enhance the visitor’s experience — augmented reality. A supplemental app, the American Baseball Card Museum Fresno cARd Exhibit app created by University of Iowa Journalism & Mass Communications Professor Kevin Ripka, will allow a user to interact with the cards, virtually flipping them over in their display cases, as well as feature a virtual exhibit for those who can’t be at the show. The app will be available free from Apple’s App Store. Also, a special version of the app will be featured in a kiosk at the exhibit to give a sense of tactility of the cards to visitors. Augmented reality marked cards will be featured at this kiosk that will allow a user to interact with the cards as if they were handling the real thing when viewed through the kiosk’s iPad.


The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Madden Library’s normal hours. The Madden Library is in the center of the Fresno State campus in Fresno, California.


Contacts: Cindy Wathen, Madden Library Public Affairs, ciwathen@csufresno.edu, 559.278.1680
Jeff Jaech, American Baseball Card Museum, jeff@baseballcardmuseum.org, 559.313.5432