Baseball in the Berkshires museum lays out post-mall plans

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PITTSFIELD — Seated at a table in The Berkshire Eagle offices, Larry Moore still smiles when he talks about his Baseball in the Berkshires museum. His road to opening the museum — first at Arrowhead, then at the Berkshire Mall — has been a winding one, filled with plenty of curveballs that now fill his exhibits.

Up next, though, is a new home for all of the Berkshire County's baseball history.

Moore recently packed up the museum, which had been at the Berkshire Mall for about two years — following a stint at Herman Melville's Arrowhead Museum, and has its collection stored at the Stationery Factory in Dalton. Moore knew that the move had to come, but he reflected on what his storefront provided to the museum's growth.

"It got me off the ground," Moore said of the mall. "Arrowhead was great, but that was even better, because you could show everything.

"We did our end of the bargain, I guess, we just got to the end of the rope."

Now, the museum's collection will be shown more infrequently. Moore had part of the collection on display at the Futures League All-Star Game recently, but the big program coming up is a meet-and-greet on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. with a host of Dalton legends — Jeff Reardon, Turk Wendell, and Jim and Dan Duquette. The foursome are in Dalton as the Dalton CRA hosts its first-ever Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Moore will pull out his Central Berkshire baseball collection at the Stationery Factory, and host a free event for people to come and meet the living baseball legends.

Moore said that at first, he thought about a paid fundraiser featuring the Dalton baseball figures. Instead, he opted to set up a free event, to help promote the museum even more.

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"People get excited, but they sort of disappear, too," Moore said, "so you have to pull in the troops and the object is to get the kids to come see. It's free, they're going to come see, so I said why don't we throw that away, and we'll figure something else maybe."

The Stationery Factory's role in the museum will continue to grow. Moore said that the museum will put up an exhibition in the building from May through September.

"It's still rough to pack up and move," Moore said, "but the funny part is that the Stationery Factory was one of the first places I went to before we went to Arrowhead."

Moore also said that he is going to have an exhibit in the Lee public library in October featuring the history of baseball in the town.

Moore's work with the museum will continue outside of the exhibits. He said that he has promises for plenty of new artifacts to add, plus he noted that people pop up all the time with baseball history for him to keep. Raising money will be another big task for Moore as he continues to pay to house all of his collection. Still, Moore said that keeping his collection going so that he can keep teaching the history of the game is important, and the Stationery Factory presents a new location to keep that mission going.

"When I was first going there, I said we have to have something to let them know we are still here," Moore said, "that we haven't disappeared."

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.


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