Crawford Foxwell Baseball Collection inspired and encouraged

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Crawford Foxwell and the Davidson boys.

CAMBRIDGE — Anyone who knows Donnie Davidson, knows that he is a collector. If you really know Donnie, then you know that he REALLY collects! The interest and passion, it seems, was fostered when he was a child. He would attend auctions with his grandfather and it is from him that Donnie gained his appreciation for and value of history. He has never looked back.

Enter Crawford Foxwell. The late Crawford Foxwell was a serious baseball fan. Not only did he attend baseball games, it is said that he spent his honeymoon (with his bride, of course) at doubleheader Senators games.

It turns out that Mr. Foxwell didn’t just like to watch baseball. He collected baseball cards and memorabilia, a pastime that had been relegated to youngsters for the most part. He amassed such a collection that an entire room of his home was needed to hold it. When young Donnie met Mr. Foxwell, the young man’s own interest in the sport, grew.

In 1970, Mr. Foxwell held the first Mid Atlantic Sport Collectors Convention, the first event of its type, here in Cambridge. This show and sale would grow and draw people from as far away as Canada.

On April 11, 2015, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the Heritage Museums and Gardens of Dorchester will begin its new programming that will focus on the Eastern Shore Baseball League with Part One of three — the “Eastern Shore Baseball League Exhibit.” This one day exhibit will be dedicated it to Crawford Foxwell for all that he did for this hobby. Collectors Donnie Davidson and author Mike Lambert will display their outstanding collections for the public’s enjoyment. Artifacts from early regional baseball include uniforms, pictures, stock certificates, bats, balls, trophies, gloves and much more. Several others will be showing, as well. Nothing at this event will be for sale.

Also on the 11th, former Governor Harry Hughes will make an appearance, midday, to meet the public and sign autographs. Mr. Hughes, before becoming a lawyer, played for one of the New York Yankees farm teams, in Easton. He had dreamt of a professional baseball career before life intervened.

Youngsters who attend, wearing their own baseball team jerseys, will receive a free “starter pack” of baseball cards. The hope is that someone’s interest will be engaged much like Mr. Foxwell was able to do for Donnie Davidson.

Part Two of the programming will take place on the following Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m., when Mike Lambert, author of Eastern Shore League — Images of Baseball, will discuss the league, its players, its ups and downs.

Mr. Lambert’s own interest in baseball has its roots in his own family. He grew up seeing a photograph of a baseball player on the wall, but didn’t know who the player was, until he was an adult. It was only then that he learned that the player was his own grandfather who played for the Delmar Railroaders. Another collector turned historian was born. Since then, Mr. Lambert has traveled all over to grow his collection — even to Chicago.

Finally, Part Three will be a “Baseball — Show, Swap and Sale” that will be held at the Museum on April 18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There is no cost to set up a table, but those who wish to do so, must contact Ann Phillips at 410-228-7953, by April 10 to reserve space.

All of these events are free and open to the public, with funding from the Waddell Foundation. The Heritage Museums and Gardens of Dorchester is located at 1003 Greenway Drive, off of Maryland Avenue East in Cambridge.

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