The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum scored about a quarter of a million dollars in grants from the state this year, and as YNN's Andrew Sorensen tells us, they plan to use it to step up to the plate of the digital age.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- It's the dead of winter, and definitely not baseball season, but a few people are still sharing the stories of the game.
Eric Schlapak said he was, "Stopping in because my son Alex loves baseball and so do I."
"I think it's cool, I mean, I never got to see them in person, and I like being able to see them on the wall and around here," his son said.
Alex Schlapak, 12, and his dad drove to Cooperstown from New Hampshire to get a look at second basemen and outfielders - Alex's favorites.
But the Baseball Hall of Fame is getting ready to take a swing at a $1 million project that might bring that experience a little closer to home.
"In 2013, we'll begin the foundational process to digitize the collections of the Baseball Hall of Fame," Senior Communications and Education Director Brad Horn said.
Horn explained they'll be scanning the Hall's artifacts in 3D and putting them on the Internet.
"It's less about scanning an object for a 360 degree experience as much as it is curating it for an online experience," he said.
Because the Hall of Fame has so many artifacts, and many of them are too fragile and too old to handle, there are a lot you don't get to see. But many of those items will be available with this new program.
"We have three million items or pieces in the library," Senior Director of Exhibitions and Collections Erik Strohl said. "A great end goal might be to allow people to actually play with our collections online and curate their own little online exhibit."
It not only expands what you get out of the museum, but Strohl said it helps them keep these stories alive longer.
"It'll also help preserve the items right? Once you have it digitized you don't need to touch it as much," he explained.
For the Schlapaks, they say nothing replaces a trip to the Hall, but the new material will work in a pickle.
Strohl says they're still in the first inning of the project, but it definitely is a game-changer.
The Baseball Hall of Fame plans to start putting two dimensional items online next year, and then work up to three dimensional exhibits.