STOCKTON — When the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series and ended their 108-year title drought, Peaches Ehrich couldn’t contain herself.
Growing up just a block away from Wrigley Field, her love for baseball started at a young age after her parents separated. Baseball and the Cubs became a shared interest between her and her father to bond.
For vacation, they went to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Ehrich remembers the cash her father would leave on the television set for her to catch a Cubs game on the fly. She was a teenager when the field was the last in the major leagues to install lights for play at night.
When the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 last year to be named champions, Ehrich, now 49, said she “lost her mind.”
“Baseball is life,” she said as she looked at a glossy panoramic photograph of Wrigley Field at the Haggin Museum on Saturday.
“Some people find it boring, but it is strategy and it’s interesting … as much as it’s slow, it’s fast; it’s wonderful.”
Paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture and art objects of all things past and present of baseball fill the Haggin Museum’s temporary exhibit “Baseball: America’s Game, Art and Objects,” from the Bank of America collection.
Museum deputy director Susan Obert said the exhibit is a way to celebrate baseball’s place in America’s history for fans both young and old.
Photographs date back to as early as 1948 of children playing in sandlots in Chicago. Among the pieces in the exhibit are George Brace’s photographs of baseball legends such as Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.
Several signed jerseys are framed, one of which a 1972 San Francisco Giants Willie McCovey.
Of the color photographs are iconic moments like Willie May’s “The Catch” from September 1954 and David Freese’s reaction to hitting a walk off home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
The exhibit also honors one of the future faces of the game: on the wall is a large decal of New York Yankee and Linden-native Aaron Judge, who now rightly owns the record for most home runs by a rookie.
“The exhibit itself really is a historical perspective of baseball being America’s game,” Obert said. For a local tie, the museum reached out to Major League Baseball and to the Giants and Oakland Athletics for items to add to the collection.
The Giants provided a jersey, pants, socks and hat worn by two-time champion and newly-retired pitcher Matt Cain.
Cain’s bright orange shoes were a hit with 9-year-old Nate Elizondo, who was accompanied by dad, Augie Elizondo, both Giants fans.
When asked who his favorite Giants player is, Nate Elizondo had to take a second to pick, but chose the face of the franchise.
“I like (Buster) Posey,” Nate said with a smile.
While he and dad are sad the Giants had a disappointing year and missed the playoffs, Augie Elizondo, 29, said he’s had to side with the Yankees during their postseason run, on account of his brother.
Although Judge’s rookie success has made things easier, ever so slightly.
“Anytime somebody from (San Joaquin County) does something, it’s really nice,” Augie Elizondo said. “That shows that good things can come from here.”
Don’t tell that to Ehrich, who made sure she would be near a television late Saturday to watch the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship.
“I’m not a Dodger fan and it’s my biggest fear that it’s going to be the Dodgers and Yankees (in the World Series),” she said with dread.
“I won’t be able to — no — I’m just going to have to turn (the TV) off.”
“Baseball: America’s Game, Art and Objects” is on view to the public now until Nov. 19.
Contact reporter Nicholas Filipas at (209) 546-8257 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on recordnet.com/filipasblog or on Twitter @nicholasfilipas.