West Street Starts Filming New Doc
History Gone from the Hall is in production. A “who done it” mystery involving historic artifacts stolen from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
The film follows the trail in the search for a set of five baseballs autographed by Presidents of The United States. The baseballs belonged to one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Walter Johnson, and were donated to the Hall as the centerpiece for an exhibit featuring the tradition of baseball’s Presidential opener.
During his career with the Washington Senators, Johnson caught the baseballs from five different Presidents on opening day, he then asked each of the Presidents to autograph the ball. Years later, Johnson’s grandson made a shocking discovery during a research visit to the Hall, when he found out the baseballs were missing from the exhibit. The balls had actually been stolen five years earlier, but the Hall covered up the theft out of fear of becoming an easy target in the collectible world of baseball memorabilia. It turns out these items were exploding in value, because buying and trading collectibles had started bursting into a billion dollar industry.
“The collectible world was now a huge business, and where there are big bucks, there is crime,” said Dan Cohen, Director of the documentary. “There was fraud and other crimes going on behind the scenes in the memorabilia world, and the FBI gets involved, launching big investigations.”
With the theft of the Presidential baseballs as the weave, History Gone from the Hall tells the intriguing story of crime and corruption in the memorabilia world, while at the same time exploring the hobby of collecting, the personal meaning these artifacts can have for collectors, and the moments in history the artifacts represent.
“The film pays off with a surprising twist,” Cohen said, “when suddenly decades later, Johnson’s grandson makes an remarkable discovery.”
History Gone from the Hall is being produced for cable distribution.
Contact West Street for more information