Billy Baldwin isn't the biggest name in his Hollywood family, but he's the most serious baseball fan.
Baldwin, who is spending part of his summer in Syracuse, N.Y., despite living in Santa Barbara, Calif., recently visited the holy land of hard ball in Cooperstown.
Cooperstown Chatter" reports the husband of Chynna Phillips used his VIP status to take a behind the scenes look at a large collection of baseball's hidden jewels.
Senior Curator Tom Shieber let the Hollywood star, known for such films as "Backdraft" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," hold the lumber used by Red Sox legend Ted Williams to slam his final homer.
Baldwin is such a Bronx Bombers fanatic that he watches or listens to 100 games a summer. While he enjoys the game, don't confuse him with a fantasy geek. Baldwin says he's not much of a numbers guy.
"I don’t know how to articulate it ... It's weird because I consider myself a big baseball fan but I'm not one of those guys who sits down with a pad and pen and does all the stats of every game,” Baldwin said. “I’m a huge baseball fan and I'm a diehard Yankees fan and probably watch or listen to a portion of about 100 games a year.
"But if there's such a thing as having a metronome for your life, for me it starts with pitchers and catchers and goes all the way through October, hopefully with the Yankees in the postseason," he added with a grin. "In these trying times with the economy not doing well and all sorts of struggles across the country and around the globe, I don’t want to be constantly reminded of all the tough stuff that’s going on. I find that the number one anecdote for that for me is baseball."
Baldwin's father helped the acting brothers Alec, Daniel, Billy and Stephen love of the game blossom, once working as an usher at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field.
One of the actor's biggest regrets is turning his back on the game in high school. Baldwin says, despite having pretty good hard ball skills, he gave up baseball to focus on wrestling.
"Growing up my favorite game was baseball, and I was best at baseball, but I made a mistake when I was in 10th grade," he recalled. "I ran with this posse of guys on my wrestling team and we all gave up everything we were doing to wrestle all year and I walked away from baseball. ... I should have stuck with it."
Baldwin has been part of the popular "Gossip Girl," CW series, playing William van der Woodsen in five episodes.