NEW YORK — As Yogi Berra might say, it's deja vu all over again at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a new permanent exhibition highlights nearly 75 years of baseball cards--from 1887 until 1959.
It opened this month in the American Wing, the first time that baseball cards from the museum's Burdick Collection have been on view for the general public. Besides Berra, the cards on display include such notables of the game as Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams.
The cards, which will rotate every six months, are being hung lower than usual for the benefit of younger visitors.
The earliest of the framed sets of cards--originally designed as collectible inserts for tobacco packages--date to 1887, some 18 years after the Cincinnati Red Stockings organized the sport's first professional team. That year's D. Buchner's "Gold Coin" Tobacco issue shows merely the names of players and generic figures for each position on the diamond.
One year later, Allen and Ginter Tobacco's "World Champions, Second Series," features a full portrait--complete with mustache--of William (Buck) Ewing, leading New York Giants slugger.