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Ralph Carhart

The Hall Ball

One Fan’s Journey to Unite Cooperstown Immortals with a Single Baseball

McFarland 2020

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books in Sports October 2, 2020 Paul Knepper

Rescued in 2010 from the small creek that runs next to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, a simple baseball launched an epic quest...

Rescued in 2010 from the small creek that runs next to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, a simple baseball launched an epic quest that spanned the United States and beyond. For eight years, “The Hall Ball” went on a journey to have its picture taken with every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, both living and deceased.

Ralph Carhart visited 34 states, Puerto Rico and Cuba, hundreds of graves, the spots where baseball legends’ ashes were spread and even the cryogenic lab where Ted Williams is frozen. The goal? To enshrine the first crowd-sourced artifact ever donated to the Hall.

Part travelogue, part baseball history, part photo journal, The Hall Ball: One Fan’s Journey to Unite Cooperstown Immortals with a Single Baseball (McFarland) tells the full story for the first time. The narratives that accompany the ball’s odyssey are as funny and moving as any in the history of the game. The Hall Ball also provides a rarely before seen history of the origins of baseball.


Paul Knepper was born and raised in New York and currently resides in Austin. His first book titled The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers Who Almost Won It All is due out in October. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.