Baseball Museums and Halls of Fame
The different baseball museums across the country (and the globe!) provide an up-close opportunity for fans to connect to the great teams and players of the past.
Whether they are a shrine to one of baseball's immortals or an intimate look into an overlooked story from history, these museums and halls of fame share with us the timeless and diverse heritage that is baseball.
Some are found amid the crowds in major league ballparks while others are hidden gems in shopping centers and restaurants.
Many are run by major league clubs while some exist only on the efforts of dedicated fans.
From majestic statues to rare artifacts these baseball museums deliver the tales and triumphs of our national pastime. Did somebody say road trip?
Southeast | Northeast
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum
San Francisco, California
Latin players have been helping to develop and refine the game of baseball since it was first introduced in Cuba in the 1860's. The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum began in 1999 and seeks to cultivate and sustain an understanding of the Hispanic influence on baseball. Famous players like Roberto Clemente, Rod Carew and Lefty Gomez are honored here as well as lesser-known individuals like broadcaster Rene Cardenas and executive/scout Alex Pompez.
B's Ballpark MuseumDenver, Colorado
Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center
The campus of Alvin Community College is home to this comprehensive and interactive tribute to one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Like most baseball museums it has a fine collection of photos, videos and essays than span Ryan's Hall of Fame career. But visitors are also treated to an insightful presentation in a small theater and a unique "pitch and catch" exhibit that creates the feeling of catching a Nolan Ryan fastball!
Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame
Located at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington behind right field, this franchise Hall of Fame plays host to business meetings and seminars. But it also displays pictures, plaques and memorabilia of members who have been inducted into the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame.
Roger Maris Museum
Far from the bright lights and busy life of New York City is the hometown of the "reluctant hero" and former Yankee, Roger Maris. This first-class exhibit, located in the West Acres Shopping Center, features replicas of the Maris monument in Yankee Stadium and his 1961 locker as well as a room where visitors can watch video footage while sitting on actual Yankee Stadium seats from that era.
Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball
Nebraska has a rich college baseball heritage that includes more than 50 years of playing host to the College World Series. But the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce has provided a look into the state's contributions to major league rosters, including a "Hall of Fame Room" for players like Grover Cleveland Alexander, Bob Gibson, and Wade Boggs. A "Wall of Fame" pays tribute to the 130+ major league players with Nebraskan ties.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The historic 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City is home to one of the most treasured baseball museums in the country. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, behind the efforts and inspiration of one of the game's greatest ambassadors, Buck O'Neil, has expanded since its opening in 1990 into an amazing experience of baseball's African-American legacy. With multi-media displays, memorabilia and a huge collection of photos it is a fitting tribute to this too-long-overlooked piece of baseball (and American) history and an essential destination for everyone from casual fans to baseball enthusiasts.
Royals Hall of Fame
Kansas City, MO
The Royals Hall of Fame is part of the new Outfield Experience at Kauffman Stadium and provides several impressive exhibits to educate its visitors on the history of the Royals franchise as well as baseball in Kansas City. Among them are the Dugout Theater, where you can experience a 15-minute interactive presentation while sitting next to a life-size statue of Buck O'Neil, a play-by-play booth that allows you to record your own calls, and a touch-screen program that lets you build your own stadium and e-mail the design to yourself! Don't be fooled by the fact that it is a team hall of fame at a stadium--it is truly one of the more enjoyable baseball museums around.
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum
St. Louis, MO
The expanded Cardinals museum is expected to anchor the planned Ballpark Village outside of Busch Stadium with an impressive collection of more than 15,000 items, including memorabilia from the 2011 World Series. The Hall of Fame is currently closed and has its contents safely in storage until its new home is completed.
Bob Feller Museum
Van Meter, Iowa
This little tribute to the "Heater from Van Meter" is packed with baseball lore and memorabilia. In addition to the standard jerseys, signed baseball, trophies and old newspaper accounts of the Hall of Fame hurler, the museum is home to one of the great artifacts of baseball history--the bat Babe Ruth leaned on during his retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium, which was memorialized in the iconic photograph of the aging Bambino.
Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway
This small town in eastern Iowa has a rich tradition on the diamond, including being hometown to such major leaguers as Hal Trosky and Mike Boddicker, dominating high school baseball for 25 years while winning 20 state titles, and inspiring a movie that chronicled their "Final Season." Visitors to this museum can learn about the proud baseball heritage that once defined a community before its high school was merged with the county school.
Field of Dreams Movie Site
For baseball fans the iconic site of The Field of Dreams actually can feel a little bit like heaven on earth. The pristine baseball field carved out of a picturesque corn field still invites visitors of every age to grab their bat and glove and live out their dreams near the old white farm house. If you're looking to rekindle a love for the game outside the walls of the standard baseball museums, this is the place to visit. Is it heaven? No. It's Iowa. But it's close.
Chicago Baseball Museum
Currently the Chicago Baseball Museum operates as an on-line forum for preserving and promoting the rich history of baseball in the Windy City. Plans are in the works for a permanent physical location that will house the historic personal collection of the late Chicago Hall of Fame sportswriter Jerome Holtzman along with photos and memorabilia from the Cubs, White Sox and other aspects of Chicago's history on the diamond.
Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Baseball Museum
This little gem in central Illinois, named after honorees Jim Bottomley, Red Ruffing and Ray Schalk, is a "local heroes" kind of museum. It honors contributors to baseball from the area and brings in small specialty exhibits and displays to supplement its collection.
House of David Museum
Benton Harbor, Michigan
While this museum is dedicated to the entire history of the House of David commune, the one-of-a-kind collection dedicated to their fascinating barnstorming baseball team needs to be near the top of every baseball fan's list of target destinations. From their crazy pepper game antics to their advocacy of the Negro League teams, this bearded band of ballplayers wrote an amazing and little-known chapter in America's pastime and provides a unique look into our country's culture during the first half of the 20th century.
Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
Cincinnati has put together one of the premier team baseball museums in the major leagues. It features exhibits like Palace of the Fans Theater, where visitors can watch short films on the history of the franchise, and Play Ball!, an interactive gallery where fans can experience the different aspects of the game and even attempt a catch against the wall! The Reds have also honored two of their greatest players, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, with exhibits that highlight their illustrious careers within the Big Red Machine.
Baseball Heritage Museum
Located in the Historic Colonial Marketplace in Cleveland, collector Robert Zimmer has put together an impressive gallery of baseball photography and artifacts that point to the contributions of the different leagues in baseball history, including the Negro Leagues. The museum also offers educational classes on baseball's origins for local students.
Dizzy Dean Museum
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is home to an excellent collection of memorabilia that make up the Dizzy Dean Museum. Visitors can see numerous items, including donations from Dizzy's wife, Pat Dean, that feature his 1934 World Series and Hall of Fame rings, as well as classic photos of Ol' Diz and his famous friends.
Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame
St. Petersburg, Florida
One of the more unique baseball museums in its scope and personal touch, this tribute to the "greatest hitter who ever lived" at Tropicana Field also honors those who have followed in his footsteps. From the original Hitters Hall of Fame inductees like Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg and Mike Schmidt to Military Achievement Award winners like General Larry Taylor (USMC) and Win Boggs (USMC), the many exhibits reflect Ted Williams' dedication to hitting and pride in his service. A nice 50-seat auditorium also invites fans to enjoy various baseball movies, which play continuously, on their visit.
Braves Museum & Hall of Fame
Few, if any, franchises in baseball can boast the longevity and tradition of the Braves, and their team museum does a great job of honoring the many teams and players that have given this organization its identity over the years. There are separate exhibits for the years spent in each city (Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston), a scoreboard of Braves records, a section for the numerous players who made a stop with the organization on their way to Cooperstown, and the team's Hall of Fame along with enough photos and video footage to attract fans of any team.
Ty Cobb Museum
Within the complex of the Ty Cobb Healthcare System in a small town in northeast Georgia baseball fans can find a small baseball museum dedicated to promoting the fantastic career of the state's native son, Ty Cobb. Through a short movie, beautiful artwork, and various memorabilia and artifacts visitors can gain a better appreciation of one of the greatest hitters of all time. Each year the museum's Vintage Baseball Team, The Georgia Peaches, plays a fun exhibition game, most recently against the Shoeless Joes from the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.
Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library
Greenville, South Carolina
Located across the street from Fluor Field, home of the Red Sox affiliate Greenville Drive, at 356 Field Street baseball fans will find the reassembled home of the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson. The master bedroom holds the main collection dedicated to the career of the banned superstar, featuring photos, a uniform and various other memorabilia. Joe's former trophy room is now home to a rich library of donated baseball books.
North Carolina Baseball Museum
Wilson, North Carolina
Historic Fleming Stadium is home to a generous collection of jerseys, pictures, a Walk of Fame and other artifacts highlighting the careers of those baseball players who are from North Carolina, including Hall of Famers Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Buck Leonard, Gaylord Perry, Enos Slaughter, Rick Ferrell, Luke Appling and Hoyt Wilhelm. Because of the many different players and teams represented, this is one of the baseball museums that fans from all over the country will easily enjoy.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
The "crack of the bat" is one of the most cherished and unique aspects of baseball that nostalgically takes any baseball fan back to their childhood memories of backyards and ballparks. So no baseball enthusiast should miss visiting this one-of-a-kind baseball museum where the lumber of choice for superstars generation after generation is still made. Stroll along the mile-long walk of fame, where bronze bats of legends like Clemente, Ruth and Wagner rest. Stare in awe at the 120-foot baseball bat and 17-ton limestone baseball glove or sit in silence as the greats pass on their insights with a film in the theater. Swing replica bats in the batting cage and view actual bats from Ruth's 1927 season or DiMaggio's hitting streak. And of course, tour the factory where the world-famous Louisville Sluggers are crafted and take home your own personalized bat! Few baseball museums will capture the attention of fans of every age like the Slugger factory.
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
Just three blocks west of Oriole Park at Camden Yards baseball fans can find the birthplace of arguably the greatest player of all time. Items from his home life, both as a child and an adult, will connect visitors with this larger-than-life icon on a personal level many have probably never considered. But don't worry, there is also plenty of homage paid to his abilities on the field. From his record-setting hitting and pitching to the 500 home run club he established, this birthplace museum captures The Babe in all his glory. It even chronicles his development as an iconic figure of American culture through movies and television.
Sports Legends Museum
Formerly part of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, the Sports Legends Museum has become its own entity within Oriole Park at Camden Yards and is dedicated to the great historical legacy of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. There are exhibits honoring the Negro Leagues, Cal Ripken, Jr., the Orioles franchise and the Great Bambino. But baseball fans will also appreciate learning more about the fine histories of football's Baltimore Colts, horse racing's Preakness, and old Camden Station.
Little League Museum
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
A lot of baseball museums make you feel like a kid again, evoking memories of watching childhood heroes and eating hot dogs in the stands. But the Little League Museum is actually all about baseball as a kid! With its highly interactive exhibits kids can check out their form while batting and pitching, call their own play-by-play, and sprint around a running track. Then they can catch their breath learning about sports nutrition and watching Little League World Series highlights. Adults will love the Hall of Excellence, an area where former Little Leaguers who have grown up to be exemplary citizens and role models, like actor Kevin Costner and writer Dave Barry, are honored.
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
Little Falls, New Jersey
On the campus of Montclair State University and next to Yogi Berra Stadium is an extraordinary museum that not only pays tribute to the life and career of the legendary catcher and quotation machine, Yogi Berra, but also serves as an institution of learning. The modern museum features Yogi's record ten championship rings, tons of photos, jerseys and other artifacts as well as a ballpark-like theater where visitors can watch films. But the theater also hosts classes and public workshops that educate fans and give instruction on a wide variety of sports topics and issues, and throughout the facility visitors will find the inspiration of Yogi and the character qualities that have made him a lasting icon of American success. Some baseball museums are an absolute "must see" for every fan. This is one of them.
Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame
New York, New York
Many baseball museums talk of their early years as a display in a shop window or a collection in a basement and fans often wish they could have experienced those days when a tribute to the game was in its infancy. Well, then walk across the street from the Empire State Building and grab a seat at Foley's Pub and Restaurant, home of the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame as well as an epic collection of sports memorabilia! Since 2008 the pub has honored baseball icons of Irish heritage like Connie Mack, Mark McGwire, Mike "King" Kelly and actor Kevin Costner. But you had better get there fast. The "Bar That Banned Danny Boy" is quickly becoming a destination for both seamheads and tourists across the country!
Brooklyn Baseball Gallery
Brooklyn, New York
The history of baseball in Brooklyn is as rich in tradition and legend as the game itself, from the Brooklyn Atlantics' win in 1870 against the "unbeatable" Cincinnati Red Stockings to the Dodgers' first World Series title against the mighty Yankees in 1955. So if you want to relive the glory days when the major leagues called the borough home, take a trip to MCU Park, where the Mets short season A-ball affiliate plays, and peruse the pictures of Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Pee Wee Reese. Oh, and just see if you can find any hint of former owner Walter O'Malley among the many artifacts. Not likely.
Mets Hall of Fame and Museum
Flushing, New York
The New York Mets have put together an enjoyable team museum at Citi Field, capturing the identity of the franchise with items like a statue of Mr. Met, the World Series Championship trophies and the ball that famously rolled through Bill Buckner's legs. Along with the standard videos and plaques there are also intriguing documents that give a unique insight into some former players through the eyes of managers and scouts.
Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum
Cooperstown, New York
For the die-hard baseball fan who wants to experience everything that Cooperstown has to offer, the wax museum is a different approach to presenting the game's greatest stars and other characters. More than 30 figures fill the historic theater building, which still manages to put the theater to use with classic baseball blooper reels, with each exhibit providing information about the player or personality portrayed. There's little interaction and no insights a fan wouldn't get from visiting the Hall of Fame, but it is a unique approach to displaying the history of the game.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Cooperstown, New York
The Baseball Hall of Fame is, simply put, the Mecca of all baseball museums with its history, legends and lore. On top of the famous plaque gallery, which honors the numerous Hall of Famers who have been elected since the first class in 1936, the three-story museum also houses an enormous library of baseball photos and documents, a tribute to the many movies about the game, interactive stations about the 19th century game and stadiums of the past, and enough inviting informational displays to keep the attention of baseball fans of any interest level. Even if Cooperstown isn't really the birthplace of baseball, the list of baseball museums any fan must visit does start here.
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
St. Mary's, Ontario
Baseball also has a rich heritage north of the border, from the first recorded baseball game in Beachville, Ontario back in 1838 to the World Championships of the Blue Jays in the early 1990's. This museum honors the many Canadians, like Fergie Jenkins and Larry Walker, or ballplayers who played in Canada, like Joe Carter and Andre Dawson, who brought excellence to the game both on and off the field. Each year the Hall of Fame also hosts a one-week summer baseball camp for kids, former pro players and coaches, and even sends the kids to a Blue Jays game!
Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame
From pioneering Winnipeg leagues to legendary community teams, every local baseball hero will appreciate, and probably envy, the honor given those who contributed to the development of baseball in Manitoba. Uniforms, pictures and other memorabilia bring the province's storied baseball heritage to life. The Hall of Fame holds an annual induction ceremony every June.
Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame
There is a long history of baseball in Mexico, which saw an influx of Negro League and Cuban stars in the 1940's, that is chronicled at the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. Visitors will be introduced to Mexican greats like Hector Espino, Angel Castro and Nelson Barrera as well as learn about the experiences of Roy Campanella, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin and Minnie Minoso south of the border.
Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Visitors to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in the Tokyo Dome will find an interactive and informative experience that allows them to hit against virtual Japanese All-Star pitchers, sift through extensive photos of their Hall of Famers, and learn about the history and success of baseball in Japan. Greats like Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Katsuya Nomura, Isao Harimoto and Kazuhisa Inao anchor a baseball tradition that comes alive in this high-quality museum.
It's only natural that the expansive history of the game of baseball has produced such a varied selection of baseball museums that fans from every area of the country can visit.
So pack your bags, grab your camera and start experiencing the mythical characters and epic stories of baseball's past and present!