Baseball Hall of Fame Tour

This morning, I took a few hours to go visit the We Are Baseball: Baseball Hall of Fame Tour, which is currently set up at Ballpark Village, across the street from Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis.

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The mobile exhibit consists of five trailers, each with a different theme, and an IMAX movie.

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The first trailer I visited was Our Game Today and Tomorrow. This was the much-anticipated virtual reality portion of the exhibit. After donning a headset and headphones, I visited several different ballparks, and saw them from different vantage points, including a batter’s eye view. It was really thrilling to see the action of a baseball game this way, but I really hoping they weren’t recording me, because I was spinning around in my chair, and looking up, down, left, and right, trying not to miss a thing!

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Next I toured Our Hall of Famers. In this exhibit, you can virtually view any Hall of Fame plaque…I made sure to look through all the former Cardinals players who have had the honor of being inducted. There are also several artifacts in this part of the tour, including a cap that was worn by Stan the Man, a glove that belonged to Johnny Bench, Joe DiMaggio’s and Ty Cobb’s jerseys, and a pair of shoes worn by Cool Papa Bell. You can even make your own Hall of Fame “plaque,” which will be e-mailed to you if you choose.

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Our Memories was the next part of the exhibit. Here you can see clips of famous baseball moments, check out even more artifacts, such as David Freese’s shredded Game Six jersey and the cap worn by Nolan Ryan when he pitched his fifth no-hitter. There is also a spot for you to record your favorite baseball memories…like many other visitors, mine focused on watching Game Six at home! You can even picture yourself in a moment of baseball history, as a player, an ump, or even a member of the famous Milwaukee Brewers sausage race!

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The Our Traditions trailer was perhaps the most whimsical. There were many photos from around the nation, of ballpark foods, mascots, and traditions. There were also a few more artifacts, including a piece of the Green Monster, and a pair of Harry Caray’s glasses. There was even a game station, where you have the opportunity to earn points for your home team!

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The Our Stories exhibit, on the other hand, was the most serious one. It focused on courage, diversity, and playing through adversity. There were narratives of players with physical disabilities and illnesses, descriptions of heroes like Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, stories of dark times in American history, like the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s, and what baseball meant to them, and even information on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

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Finally, there was a IMAX movie…even though it was indoors, the seats had a ballpark feel! The movie talked not only about Major League baseball, but baseball at all levels, from t-ball in small town parks through the Little League World Series in Williamsport PA, and beyond, and not only in America, but around the world. It also offered a glimpse at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, which has strengthened my resolve to go there someday and see it for myself.

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This was a fantastic exhibit, especially for someone like me who loves baseball and history, but who lives pretty far away from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Every person working there was friendly and knowledgeable, and all of the exhibits were extraordinarily well done. This tour will be in St. Louis through September 11, 2016…if you have time to get downtown before it leaves, I highly recommend it!

The Cards-Cubs Game

Today, I finally got to see the Cardinals play their old rivals, the Cubs, at Busch Stadium. This is the game Moose and I were supposed to go to back in May that got rained out. He went to a different game with me in July, so Turkey (and Chickadee, of course!), came to today’s game with me. I was worried for a bit that this game was going to get rained out, too, but eventually, the sun came out. It was a lot of fun watching the grounds crew work with the tarp!

Even though the Cards had to disappoint us and lose, we had a fun time. Our seats in right field gave a new perspective on Ballpark Village, and the view in general was good. For once, Chickadee declined having her picture taken with Fredbird…she was so tired she didn’t want to leave me, although she cried about not seeing him for a good inning afterward! Turkey posed with our favorite mascot, however, and also asked me to take his picture by the foul pole.

I’ve taken each of the children but Bunny to a special, just us game…stay tuned for our girls’ night at the ballpark next week!

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

I’ve been trying for over two weeks now to find the words to describe just how cool the new Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum at Ballpark Village is. I obviously can’t show you everything, but here’s a glimpse at what you can expect to see when you visit.

The Hall of Fame wall is outside the museum, and can be seen even without paying the museum’s admission fee:

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Once you get inside the museum, there’s so much to see! It’s arranged chronologically, from the very beginning of the Cardinals organization, up to today’s team.

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I especially liked the section dedicated to Stan the Man, and was impressed to see his Medal of Freedom displayed there:

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And, being me, I also loved the vintage displays. There were several for the St. Louis Browns:

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And one for St. Louis’ Negro League team, the Stars:

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There was even a tribute to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League! It was one of many displays housed in drawers that are the perfect height for children to open…I love that there’s something they are encouraged to do without getting in trouble!

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There are models of all of the Cardinals ballparks:

I love how different parts of the museum are decorated to look like the different stadiums the Cardinals have played in. The blue lights made the old Busch Stadium model look really cool!

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And of course the new Busch Stadium section is as beautiful as the actual ballpark!

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We all loved getting to hold the bats of some of the Cardinals greats. The white-gloved gentleman manning that display was very friendly and knowledgeable.

There’s a display dedicated to each World Series victory. We all loved seeing David Freese’s torn jersey from 2011:

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Speaking of World Series, there are trophies of all kinds:

The display of Cardinals promotional giveaways and collectibles was also cool:

There are so many other things to see…uniforms, equipment, pennants, memorabilia…pretty much anything you can think of!

You can even see souvenirs of some of the other events that have been held at the Cardinals ballparks!

There are so many more things to see, but I hope this gives you an idea of what an awesome place the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is. Hopefully, you get a chance to visit someday!

Ballpark Village–The Exterior

We haven’t actually been inside Ballpark Village yet (although, hopefully it won’t be too long before we correct that situation!), but I did walk around the outside and take some pictures. I have to say, I really like what I saw!

The Construction of Ballpark Village

I was looking back over the photos I took over the course of the last eight months or so as Ballpark Village was being built…it’s amazing to me how fast something like that can come together!

July 21, 2013…Just a rough framework, and a lot of dirt!

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August 7, 2013…Not a huge difference, but more framing had been done:

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August 25, 2013…Just a few week later, but it’s starting to look like something!

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September 10, 2013…More of the wrap had been added:

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January 19, 2014…Since it was the offseason, I hadn’t seen Ballpark Village for a while, but I stopped by during the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up. It’s nice to see the brickwork being done!

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April 4, 2014…Just about a week old…it sure does look good!

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It will be interesting to see what else comes of this development. For now, though, I’m excited about the extra life it’s bringing to downtown St. Louis!