The 2011 Major League Baseball season starts today at 1:05pm, when the National Air and Space Museum’s hometown Washington Nationals host the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park.
This afternoon the red and white uniforms of the Nationals will stand out against the bright green of the field. In the late 1950s, players took to the field of the U.S. Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia wearing a different uniform—B.F. Goodrich Mark IV spacesuits. Photographs of this event were found in the Archives Division’s Frederick Clark Durant Collection (Acc. No. XXXX-0084).
The game was staged as a flexibility demonstration for the spacesuit. The final score of the baseball game is unknown, but the Mark IV would evolve to become the original Project Mercury spacesuit, a definite home run!
There’s only one thing left to say as the season begins…
Elizabeth C. Borja is a reference services archivist in the National Air and Space Museum’s Archives Division.