By David Fleet
A vintage 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. Ty Cobb’s spikes. The bat Magglio Ordoñez used for the walk-off homer clinching the Tiger’s 2006 American League Championship Series.
Just a few of baseball’s greatest that 2014 Brandon High School graduate Meredith Tomich is getting to know as an intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
“Each day when I go to my office I pass Ernie Harwell’s microphone,” said Tomich, a recent Aquinas College graduate who majored in business and sports management. “Baseball has always been part of my life so I really wanted to be around it. I knew the internship at the hall of fame would be very competitive—so I went for it.”
Tomich, was one of 19 college students who came from 18 colleges and universities selected from more than 500 applications nationwide for a 10-week study in a variety of disciplines at The Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development at the hall of fame.
Tomich works with public programming which includes interaction with visitors and even a baseball trivia quiz.
“The trivia game is a lot of fun,” she said. “We had a 12 year old ace the trivia game. Baseball is alive and well today among the youth and remains American pastime. Thousands of people still make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown to see their heroes.
“It’s amazing to see their reaction to a specific baseball mitt or baseball we have on display.”
The interns will work in curatorial, education, digital strategy, membership, multimedia, photo archives, collections, public relations, library research, sales and licensing and special events.
Tomich said that St. Louis Cardinal and 2002 Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith stops by the hall on occasions.
“Ozzie helps out at the nearby Coopertowns Dream Park,” she said.
Each summer more that 1,200 youth players and coaches play at the Coopertown’s Dream Park located near the hall of fame.
“We’re busy all week with the camps,” she said. “The kids are excited too about baseball and the hall of fame. Many talk about current players, so few know a lot of the history. It’s fun to see moms and dads show their children players from their childhoods and tell stories.”
“I realize just how engaged Americans are with baseball,” she said. “I was just a fan before I started working here, but this experience allowed me to learn a lot more.”