For those who have known me a long time or read this blog from the beginning, it is obvious I love baseball. From growing up playing the game and cheering on the Twins, to my recent goal to enjoy a game at every Major League ballpark, my passion for the game has never wavered. As a kid, I would collect cards from my favorite players, watch any baseball movie that came out, and have posters of Kirby Puckett lining my bedroom wall. For those of you that are curious, The Sandlot is still an exceptional movie when viewed as an adult. I also admit to still regularly watching the 1987 and 1991 World Series videos of the Twins World Championships. One of these years that will happen again!
|Twins dedication for their Championships in 1987 and 1991|
So I was fairly disappointed when our first attempt to see the Baseball Hall of Fame ended in failure. Though it convinced us (tough sell) to come back. I love when expectations live up to the hype, because it was awesome! Every bit of baseball geek within me was in pure joy walking through this shrine to the sport.
The layout of the exhibits is masterfully planned, and while I usually have a two hour limit in museums, this felt rushed and we spent over three hours inside. Exhibits are located on three different floors, displaying almost 40,000 artifacts.
The big question on my mind was how did the Hall of Fame end up in Cooperstown, NY? The story is quite romantic, if not entirely true. Ultimately, as baseball became more popular, no one could truly place the person and location responsible for the game's invention. A panel was formed to determine the birth of baseball, and the honor of most compelling story went to Abner Doubleday, a decorated Civil War Officer who was said to have created baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown. The myth has since been exposed but that does not take away the thriving spirit of baseball engrained in this town. A more complete history is here.
|Original guest book for the museum - Note the names Cy Young, Ruth, Ott...|
Next came a thorough, interactive timeline of artifacts and events from the first years of the game to the present, showcasing the legendary players, teams, and moments that have defined the sport as America's National Pastime. While this timeline weaves throughout, numerous special displays are featured, focusing on Babe Ruth, women in baseball, African Americans' history with the game, and a dedication to baseball in the Caribbean Basin countries.
|Babe Ruth transcended the sport|
|Bat and ball from Ted Williams' 500th home run|
|Quality Twins artifact - Jim Thome's 600th home run ball|
Take me out to the Ballgame - My Ballpark Experience
Take me out to the Ballgame - East Coast Edition
|Hank Aaron - The true home run king|
|Up for debate, but is this this bat hit the longest home run ever?|
|More than 10 million votes were cast online to determine the fate of Barry Bonds' 756th home run. The asterisk won and serves as a reminder of this tumultuous period in baseball.|
|Ty Cobb's shoes - Old school|
|The first inductees|
|My all time favorite|