Baseball: America's Home Run is a unique exhibit at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum that examines the rich history of baseball by leveraging material from the National Postal Museum’s collection, original stamp art from the United States Postal Service, and artifacts loaned by other Smithsonian museums, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and private collectors. One of those contributors is long-time collector Stephen Wong. Mr. Wong generously shared items from his private collection—many of the game’s most historically significant uniforms and other treasured collectibles—for the exhibition. These objects add to the richness of the stories told, creating a profound visitor experience—both onsite and online.
A special digital engagement component of the exhibition provides multi-media storytelling experiences focused on many of the key objects on display. Mr. Wong’s blog contributions about the exhibit can be viewed below. The exhibition will be open through January 2025.
A Closer Look at Game-Worn Major League Baseball Uniforms - Baseball uniforms have been part of America’s pastime for well over a century. But they’ve only become a coveted collectors item within recent years. Mr. Wong looks at how and why the literal fabric of baseball has become such a sought after piece of memorabilia.
Lou Gehrig 1934 Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat - Lou Gehrig’s 1934 season was one of the finest of his illustrious career. He won the elusive Triple Crown by leading the league in home runs (49), RBI (166), and batting average (.363). Mr. Wong looks at the impact of the Louisville Slugger professional model bat he used during the season.
Yogi Berra 1951 New York Yankees Road Jersey - Mr. Wong examines the key role that Yogi Berra, the Yankees Hall of Fame backstop, played during the 1951 season, which ended with the third of the Bronx Bombers’ five consecutive World Series titles between 1949 and 1953.
Babe Ruth 1920 Game Used Bat - Following the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the 1920 season marked a pivotal time for baseball in America. Mr. Wong outlines the importance of Babe Ruth’s 1920 season - his first as a Yankee - and offers some thoughts on the Louisville Slugger bat that he used during that season.
Jackie Robinson 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers Road Jersey - Few players have impacted their sport and the societal landscape the way that Jackie Robinson has. In this blog post, Mr. Wong examines his legendary status in our game’s history and the 1948 Jackie Robinson Dodgers road jersey that is an important piece in this exhibit.
Lou Gehrig 1937 New York Yankees Road Jersey and 1939 New York Yankees Team Jacket - The exhibit includes several Lou Gehrig items, including his 1937 road jersey and his 1939 Yankees team jacket. Mr. Wong takes a look at what made him such an iconic figure and why his items remain such coveted parts of the hobby today.
Ty Cobb 1910-1915 Louisville Slugger Game Used Bat - Few hitters dominated at the plate the way Ty Cobb did, capturing twelve batting titles and amassing more than 4,000 hits in his career. Mr. Wong looks at the game’s all-time batting average leader along with his Lousiville Slugger bat that was used between 1910 and 1915.
Roy Campanella 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers Road Jersey - Campanella spent his entire career with the Dodgers, joining the team during the 1948 campaign and playing through 1957, the franchise's last season in Brooklyn. One of Mr. Wong’s contributions to the exhibit is the road jersey that Campanella wore during the 1955 season, the only year the Dodgers captured a World Series title while in Brooklyn.
Roberto “Momen” Clemente 1960 Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat - 2023 marks 50 years since Roberto Clemente was the first Latin American player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mr. Wong remembers one of the game’s most beloved players with a look at the Louisville Slugger bat that Clemente used during the Pirates miraculous 1960 World Series championship season.
Roberto Clemente 1966 Pittsburgh Pirates Home Uniform - Roberto Clemente is synonymous with the historic Pittsburgh Pirates uniform and one of Mr. Wong’s contributions to the exhibit includes the home uniform that the Steel City legend wore during the 1966 season.
T206 Honus Wagner, PSA 5 Baseball Card - The T206 Honus Wagner card holds a special place in the hobby as it was the card that REA sold for a record-setting amount of $6.6 million in July 2021. Mr. Wong takes a look at another T206 Wagner graded PSA 5, one of the finest examples of this legendary card.
You can also view a full video series about the exhibit on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum YouTube page, to which Mr. Wong contributes some valuable insight.
About Stephen Wong
Stephen Wong is managing director, co-head of the Real Estate Group in Asia Ex-Japan and chairman of the Investment Banking Division for Hong Kong at Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2005 and received the firm’s prestigious John L. Weinberg Award in 2020. He has published three books with Smithsonian Books, most recently Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game’s Greatest Heroes and Moments (2016) which was nominated for the Casey Award. Wong himself is a life-long collector of rare and significant baseball artifacts. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on baseball uniforms, game-used bats and other forms of memorabilia and has helped organize baseball-themed exhibitions at the Californian Museum for California at Bat: America's Pastime in the Golden State (2018), the National Museum of American Jewish History, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and Skirball Cultural Center for Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American (2014 – 2016) and the Museum of the City of New York for Glory Days: New York Baseball, 1947 – 1957 (2007). Wong is also serving as a senior advisor to The Jackie Robinson Museum in New York and also advises and loans artifacts to the San Francisco Giants. Wong is a member of the Board of Trustees of Hobart and William Smith Colleges where he earned a BA in economics in 1989, and received a Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford Law School in 1992.