The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

August 20, 2010

'History Detectives' episode set in Cooperstown

By Michelle Miller
Staff Writer

---- —

Production crewmembers from PBS' "History Detectives" were in Cooperstown this summer to try to uncover another mystery.

For this investigation, one of the hosts, Tukufu Zuberi, visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame to try to clear up one of baseball's uncertainties: Was Pittsburgh the site of integrated Major League Baseball before Jackie Robinson became a Brooklyn Dodger?

The answer will be revealed on the show at 9 p.m. Monday.

While in Cooperstown the crew interviewed National Baseball Hall of Fame researchers and baseball fan Jason Mishelow from Milwaukee. Mishelow said he found a scorecard from a game between two unusual teams: The Majors' All Stars and Robinson's All Stars. Robinson's team was made up of both black and white players, yet this game appears to have occurred before Robinson became the first black major leaguer.

Could this game have been a test to find out how America would react to integrated baseball? To find out the answer, PBS said to tune in to the PBS show "History Detectives," which is in its eighth season.

While sitting in a chair at Sally Trossett's home on Nelson Avenue in the village, Mishelow said he found and bought the scorecard on eBay and wanted to share his findings with the world. Mishelow said he had watched "History Detectives" before, and the show's website lets fans send in story submissions -- so he did.

The PBS production crew spent a day at Trossett's residence filming the segment.

Mishelow said being featured on the show is not an everyday occurrence.

"It's a surreal experience, and it's neat," he said.

To solve the mystery, filming did not stop in Cooperstown. Zuberi and the production crew also traveled to Pittsburgh, where the game was played.

The series follows history investigators at they crisscross the country delving into legends, folklore and personal histories to discover potentially extraordinary objects in everyday American homes, cities and small towns.

Lion Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting co-produce the series. According to the show's website, traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies and plenty of legwork are the tools used in the show.

To find out more about the series, visit