Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baseball Museum 9: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

On Monday, June 29, 2009, we visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. It is not a bad museum and definitely a must see for any baseball fan, however, the overall experience is not as good as visiting the small Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. There is of course a lot more to see, which is one thing that makes it better than the Canadian one. However, the fact that there is not much staff around the exhibits and none that seemed any where near as knowledgeable about baseball as the one at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and their better up-to-date exhibits makes them on equal grounds of worth visiting in our opinion.

We started our visit to the Hall of Fame by seeing the movie on the second floor. The movie theater is made to be like a baseball stadium. It is pretty cool, but its handicap seating is not that great. There is not an actual spot to roll the chair into, so Mik just sat in front of the seating with the wheelchair logos on them. Not horrible, but rather odd. The movie really is not all that special, but I did like how giant baseball cards were slowly lit up and revealed hanging from the ceiling at the end.

After the movie we began moving through the second floor of the museum, which is organized in a time line way from the 19th century through to today's game. There is plenty of interesting things to see, but the going through it was extremely slow due to the amount of people slowly moving by the exhibits. It was especially hard with Mik because we would be waiting patiently for room to move up to the exhibit and then people would squeeze into the small spots that he could not fit into and making it take forever for enough room to clear to get up to the display cases. This really ruined the whole experience and part of why even though there are a lot of things to see here it is not as worthwhile as the few things that are easy to see due to few people being at the Canadian Hall of Fame. Anyways it is still pretty interesting to see the artifacts related to the history of baseball even though a lot of the information I have read in books before. At least they do have the information along with the artifacts, which is what the Negro Leagues Museum was not very good at. By the way the Negro Leagues exhibit here is pathetic in comparison to that museum. Sure it has all the important information, but it is mostly walls of words with very few artifacts.

The third floor of the museum had some of the more interesting things, but it is also what ruined the credibility of the museum. Sorry, but it is hard not to wonder what inaccuracies they made me believe when the ballpark exhibit called Sacred Grounds is not just a few months out of date by saying Yankee Stadium is still in use, but years out of date by also frequently referring to the Dbacks Chase Field as Bank One Ballpark. Sure I still often call it the BOB, but that is out of remembering it once being called that and that type of inaccuracy does not belong in a museum that can keep the active leader stats up-to-date every week.

Besides the Ballpark exhibit not being that great there is plenty of interesting things worth seeing on the third level. Mik really liked the wall of balls from no-hit games that have been pitched since the late-1930s. I enjoyed seeing the pins from almost all the World Series. Also, interesting was the display of baseball cards through the years.

The last part of the museum we visited was the first floor, where the actual Hall of Fame is located. Also, behind the hall of fame is a small exhibit on reporters and announcers. There is also an exhibit on Baseball Movies, which includes props from various movies and trailers playing on a television in the exhibit.

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