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