Yankees give fans chance to interact with history

Yankees give fans chance to interact with history

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' new "Hands on History" program gives fans a chance to "reach through the glass" to hold and interact with historic artifacts at the Yankee Museum inside Yankee Stadium.

Fans will get a chance to hold Babe Ruth's bat from 1922-1923 and feel how heavy it truly is. They can see the mark from a ball on the bat that Reggie Jackson used to hit his 547th career home run. There is a glove worn and autographed by Mickey Mantle, which is rather small compared to most outfielder's gloves. But some people will be surprised when they take a look at Mantle's uniform pants from 1963, because they imagined he would be bigger than the uniform indicates.

The tour aims to give fans of all ages something to enjoy, including items from more current players, too.

So there is a jersey worn by Derek Jeter on July 9, 2011 -- the day he collected his 3,000th hit -- still stained with dirt from a slide early in that game; Ichiro Suzuki's bat and batting helmet from 2012; and the home plate used at the final game at the old Yankee Stadium and first game of the current one.

Not to mention, fans also have a chance to take pictures with the World Series rings from 2000 and 2009 or the 2009 World Series trophy. And these are just some of the items available at the museum.

"It's just such a unique and exciting way of connecting with Yankees history," said Brian Richards, museum curator. "You can relive something that you experienced growing up, or maybe that you've heard about, or maybe that you haven't heard about."

While it may seem risky to allow the public to hold these items, fans are given a tutorial at the beginning of the session where they are instructed the safe and proper way to hold and interact with each artifact.

The Yankees began the "Hands on History" program in May and have had groups of about 20-30 each time, and estimate they could accommodate about 50-60, for guests to have enough time to spend with each piece and take as many photos as they would like.

Sessions begin approximately 90 minutes before gates open for a select number of home games, mostly Saturdays. Fans interested in the experience can find more information on dates and how to sign up at yankees.com/handsonhistory.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.