Each fall, the final out is recorded, a new World Series winner is crowned, and baseball fans around the country come to grips with the fact that they won’t watch a professional game again for many months. Some can manage this dearth of baseball-related activity, but if you can’t, don’t fret. The 10 must-see baseball museums on this list can help fans of all ages get through the baseball-less winter months.
The largest and most popular baseball museum is the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. (about 90 minutes from Albany and Syracuse). This baseball Mecca is a three-story behemoth, welcoming nearly 300,000 visitors per year. Fans come to see the inductee plaques and the largest collection of baseball artifacts and memorabilia in the world. Also in town is the Baseball Wax Museum, housing life-like sculptures of the game’s greatest players.
Some museums on the list of the best are dedicated to specific ballplayers. The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, Md. includes the actual bedroom George Herman was born in. The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, S.C. is situated inside the house baseball’s most wronged player lived and died in.
Other great baseball museums pay tribute to equipment (Louisville Slugger Museum; Louisville, Ky.); ballparks (National Ballpark Museum; Denver, Colo.); and youth ball (Little League Baseball Museum; South Williamsport, Pa.).
The Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., highlights the accomplishments of players who weren’t offered the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. Learning about the struggles and triumphs of players like Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige is an eye-opening experience.
This winter, don’t feel like you have to fly to Venezuela to get your baseball fix. The United States is filled with exciting museums that will buff up your baseball knowledge and keep your thirst for nine-inning action at bay until springtime.