The Hall of Fame wanted Madison Bumgarner's opening day bat, but he said no

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner just can’t stop doing historic things. In its large collection of baseball memorabilia, the Baseball Hall of Fame already has three hats worn by Bumgarner, from his three commanding starts against the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series. Now Bumgarner has done something else historic, and the museum wants a piece of it to add to their ever-growing Bumgarner collection.

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What they want a piece of is Bumgarner’s season-opening antics. Bumgarner hit two home runs on opening day, and it was the first time any pitcher had ever done that on opening day. So of course the Hall of Fame wanted the bat Bumgarner used to hit those homers. The Hall of Fame seems like the perfect place to showcase a thing like that, right?

Well, Bumgarner disagreed. Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News reported Tuesday that when the Hall of Fame asked Bumgarner for the bat, he said no. That’s right: Madison Bumgarner turned down the Hall of Fame.

San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, left, talks with catcher <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8578/" data-ylk="slk:Buster Posey">Buster Posey</a>, right, in the dugout during the fourth inning of an Opening Day baseball game against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/ari/" data-ylk="slk:Arizona Diamondbacks">Arizona Diamondbacks</a> Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo)
San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, left, talks with catcher Buster Posey, right, in the dugout during the fourth inning of an Opening Day baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo)

As for why Bumgarner isn’t going to hand over the bat, it’s a pretty simple reason: he wants to keep it. Considering what he did with it, you can’t blame him. So what will Bumgarner be doing with the bat? Will he build a shrine or exhibit of some kind, complete with spotlights and continuous music? Absolutely not. Here’s what Baggarly said about Bumgarner’s intentions for the bat.

He’s not going to put it back in the rack. He’s said he’s taking it out of commission, fearing it might disappear if he doesn’t put it in a guarded place.

This is great. He’s not keeping the bat because he wants to put it up on a wall and display it at home, but because he’s afraid it might be stolen. It seems like if it were up to him, Bumgarner would just keep right on using the bat. Again, since he hit two home runs with it on the first day of the season, that makes a ton of sense.

Instead, Bumgarner is sending the Hall of Fame the batting helmet he wore that day. That’s not a terrible trade-off. Even though Bumgarner didn’t hit the home runs with the helmet (though that would have been amazing), it was on him when he did it. If the Hall of Fame ever displays Bumgarner’s helmet, they should also include a poster that explains why the helmet is there instead of the bat. Not many guys turn down the Hall of Fame, after all.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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