It’s an epic adventure that has taken a New York man to 34 states, spanning over 40,000 miles in the last seven years, guided to the Hawaiian islands this week by the seams of a battered baseball that could one day end up in the Hall of Fame.
Ralph Carhart started the “Hall Ball Project” in 2010, taking a baseball that he found in Cooperstown on a photographic journey to over 300 members of baseball’s hall of fame, both live and deceased, as the ball has been photographed either with the hall of famer or at the resting place of the baseball legend.
Monday morning, he took the ball to the showering grave-site at the Oahu Cemetery of the final deceased member on his mission, Alexander Joy Cartwright, considered the “father of baseball” as the creator of the game’s modern rules.
April 17th, 2017 marks as Cartwright’s 197th birthday, and Carhard was in attendance at the annual celebration of like for the one-time Hawaiian royalty advisor and Hawaii’s first fire chief. Serving as the perfect apex for the project in paradise.
“It’s something that I could have never possibly imagined. When I began the project seven years ago, I knew Hawaii was on the list but I honestly wasn’t even sure if I would finish the project. The fact that it’s ending here in this magical place is something I could never have imagined. You know it’s the alpha and omega that the end of my journey is at the place where the man who more than anyone else in the hall of fame was there at the very beginning is certainly a symbolism that was not accidental” said, Carhart.
When asked what the fellow baseball fans that he has met on his journey have meant to him and his adventure, the smiling Carhart noted that it has brought a similar joy that the game he loves so much provides. “It’s great. To find out that this crazy idea I had connects with other people. That they wish that they could have gone on this journey with me, that this group of people that are here today to honor Alexander and to want to hear my story is a little overwhelming sometimes you know, that’s part of what I never could have expected seven years ago is that when I took that final photograph, that there would be a group of people here that would want me to talk to them about it when I was done, it’s pretty incredible” said, Carhart.
Later this summer Carhart will meet with the Baseball Hall of Fame to discuss a possible home for the ball and its remarkable story. At that time he could also possibly hand the project over to the hall of fame, as the members will continue to grow each year.
For more information on the Hall Ball Project visit Ralph’s website by clicking here. Photos of the legends with the ball and information on how to donate to the project can be found at the site.