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THE MAY 2011 


Brimfield MA

Also reporting on pre and post show excursions to, Cambridge MA and New Haven CT to photograph the trophyrooms of Harvard and Yale Universities As 

well as the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield MA

A ten day excursion feature

By Carlton Hendricks


16 text pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room
at Payne Whitney Gym


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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston






......So what's my final analysis of this landmark of the antiques world?....Would I go again? You bet I would....Would I fly across the country again to get there....well....maybe. Here's the real answer though...I've been to enough antiques shows to know not to judge a show by attending it once. I'd like to be able to attend about three or four before judging it's merit. But I will say this....if I lived within driving distance I probably wouldn't ever miss it. At least the Spring show anyway....If I lived within a seven hour drive I'd always be there...maybe even a 15 hour drive......


he Brimfield Antiques Fair, held in Brimfield Massachusetts, took place Tuesday May 10th thru Sunday May 15th 2011. I came out from California and was at the fair four days Tuesday thru Friday. My plane left San Francisco at 7:00AM Sunday May 8th and I returned Saturday afternoon May 18th. The plan was to land in Boston two days before Brimfield started and do a little site seeing. The following day Monday I toured the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield MA. Then Brimfield started the next day Tuesday. I left out of Brimfield Friday around noon. From there I went to Harvard University and toured the trophies in the Murr Center. Saturday was spent resting and packing my Brimfield finds and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston that afternoon. Sunday I drove to my my next hotel in Norwalk CT about a three and a half hour drive. The following day Monday I went to Yale University and  toured the trophy room in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The following day Tuesday I began driving back toward Boston via a quick drive thru Newport Rhode Island. Wednesday it was back home to San Francisco. 


It was a successful trip, I covered a lot of territory and got the most I could out of the cost of getting there. I always try to squeeze in as much I can and see as much I can on trips, it's just a matter of how much pain I can take. I figure I can rest when I get home. Ten days sounds like a lot of time but I was always on a schedule to be some place or meet someone so it all went by quick. I wish I had about three more free days to just drive around Connecticut and look at stuff. Drive into some small town, have lunch at a diner and just walk down main street aimlessly browsing. Talk with people and just take in the local color....Hopefully next time. So that's the Reader's Digest version of my trip, now lets go to the full version.




To begin with, this was my first time to Boston and New England and I had always wanted to go...Over the past 23 years, collecting sports antiques has taken me from the San Francisco Bay Area where I live to Chicago numerous times, Saint Louis, Cleveland numerous times, Cincinnati, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles zillions of times, Portland, and Seattle....So for me, finally making it to Boston was a really big deal. In my mind Boston was where Harvard was, and both Harvard and Yale was the birthplace of American football. Not to mention the nucleus of American athletics in general. Once considered of little or no value, 19th century Harvard and Yale sports artifacts have slowly taken off over the last 20 years. Before professional football came on the scene in the late 1890's, the Harvard Yale football game was essentially the equivalent of today's Superbowl. I knew once I stepped onto those two campuses I would be where it all started. Before leaving for Brimfield I contacted both Harvard and Yale universities to arrange to photograph their trophy rooms. 



The first thing I did when I got off the plane in Boston was get my rental car and head for Cambridge. It was a Sunday and since my plane left at 7:00AM that morning I planned to go to an evening church service in Cambridge 2011-05-08 19.18.02_1440x1920.jpg (375042 bytes)I had seen on the internet. Burned out from lack of sleep and food I got confused and went to the wrong church, The Vineyard, where there was no evening service...I gave up  and decided to just go to Harvard Square and get something to eat and look around. I was in awe....there's a feeling of grandeur there...like you're at the White House or something....the Campus is very impressive and the surrounding neighborhood is Boston charming...As I walked around I could just imagine the Kennedy's and other movers and shakers playing touch football on the lawn as undergrads . 


I scored for dinner....I found a great little hole in the wall hamburger joint called Flat Patties...they do a lot from scratch, They make their own chili, fresh cut fries ect. I got the fish sandwich and it was great. They PICT9893_1200x900.jpg (184561 bytes)had a little overhang loft area to sit at. I had my dinner and took a little breather since leaving S.F. early that day. Then it was off around the rest of Harvard Square, and the University...The famous Harvard Coop was my next stop...The Harvard Cooperative I suppose it stands for. Probably the biggest college clothing store on the planet. I took a few quick shots and left for more site seeing. When I came back latter to get a Harvard hat I learned the part of the store I saw initially was only the tip of the iceberg...there was another larger room with three times more Harvard clothes...every kind of sweatshirt, ball cap, and key chain you can imagine. Spendthrift that I am I balked at the $55.00 Harvard hoody sweatshirt I wanted. Later I found basically the same thing at a magazine shop nearby for $24.00. One funny thing I noticed, I walked all around the area with my shiny new Harvard cap and never saw another person wearing one...I think they're just for the tourists! Below are photos of the Harvard Square area. I took most the shots with my phone camera since I was auto-sending them to my bud John Gennantonio, so they're not great quality. It was a nice first visit to Harvard but it was just a warm up as I was planning on coming back in about a week, after Brimfield to see and photograph the Harvard trophy room.




I stayed in the town of Bedford that night, about twenty minutes from Boston. The next day I drove Route 90 west to Springfield MA and went to the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a huge complex about the size of a small shopping center three stories tall all capped by an impressive domed roof. The first floor which you enter at has a basketball court and a gift shop, and the second and third floors are where the exhibits are. After you pay the $16.99 entry fee you take a glass elevator overlooking the basketball court up to the second floor where your self guided tour begins. From there you're on your own to freely walk thru the numerous rooms of exhibits. Then when you're on your way out, or I suppose anytime you want, they let you play some hoops on the court.


Flanking the entrance are a Cold Stone Ice Cream store and two restaurants. An Italian one on the left and one called Max's Tavern on the right.....Max's was pretty busy with a lot of local Business people. I gave it a shot and was surprised how good it was. I had the roast beef sandwich and it was excellent. 

By the time I finished lunch and got into the Hall I only had two hours to see it....which is doable, but three would be better. I jammed thru shooting everything in site. How was it? The exhibits are very nicely assembled, very professional, and it was vast. It seemed like everyone in basketball history was represented somewhere...No doubt it's the greatest celebration of basketball on the planet...the equivalent of Disneyland for the serious basketball fan. 


Naturally I was mostly interested in the antique/pre 1900 artifacts. There were some good pieces...early uniforms and balls...a few nice figural trophies...but as far as antique items it couldn't hold a candle to Gary Cypress' museum in Los Angeles. One special item that caught my attention was two typed pages of the first thirteen basketball rules decreed by James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. The exhibit stated Naismith posted them on the wall of the YMCA gymnasium before the first game was played December 21st 1891. Now that's an historical artifact! Below is a link to 4 pages of photos I took at the Hall, 189 photos total.


The Hall was very kind to allow me to post the shots I took. Unfortunately however, they would not allow me to post any photos of Michael Jordan or his exhibits because of brand restrictions....and there were some great ones of him in his prime! 



Click here to see 189 photos of the HallBaskketBHOFTEXT.jpg (360015 bytes)

SportsAntiques.com visits

The Naismith Memorial


Click here to see 189 photos of the Hall

Above is a video on the early development of the game that plays in the Basketball HOF

recaptured with my hand held camera which wasn't centered well

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life size statue of James Naismith

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Early basketball autographed by James Naismith

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Original 13 rules posted in YMCA before first basketball game

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Sample of displays in Basketball HOF

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Photo of 

Prince Charles

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Panoramic of 25 foot wide exhibit

Click here to see 189 photos of the Hall



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