Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baseball Museum 14: Sports Legends Museum

The second museum we visited before the Orioles game on July 10, 2009, was the Sports Legends Museum. This museum is located in a building on the same block as Orioles Park at Camden Yards and is located the near Eutaw Street entrance to the park. The museum focuses mostly on the history of baseball and football in Baltimore, although it does have a little bit about other sports in the Baltimore. Mik and Dad have seen this museum before and since I am not into football, we skipped that half of the museum and just saw the baseball exhibits. By the way this museum is fully accessible and you still get to see some Babe Ruth history, so until the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is remodeled to be accessible this is a decent only stop if accessibility is an issue.

On the first floor the baseball exhibit is mostly organized by inning. Basically the history of baseball in Baltimore is broke into nine innings, which is a great themed way to organize the exhibits. One of the most amazing items on display is an 1895 Championship Banner that honored the team being a championship team in 1895. Another interesting display was things salvaged from the rubble of Old Orioles Park, which was destroyed in the July 4, 1944 fire. Some of the other displays include the closing of Memorial Stadium, the current ballpark, and Cal Ripken Junior and Senior memorabilia.

The most amazing part of the first floor, though, is the Hall of Fame area. The Hall of Fame displays are presented in a unique way. The displays are square glass cases broken into three or two triangle displays depending on the amount of players per pillar. For each player there is some memorabilia and below is a trading card or two on display. A few of the Orioles honored are Cal Ripken Sr, Cal Ripken Jr, and Brooke Robinson.

The second level to explore is actually the lower level of the building. On this level there are displays about the old stadiums of Baltimore. In this area there are a few items from Memorial Stadium including benches. There is also a model of the current Orioles Park at Camden Yards. The other displays on the lower level are about Maryland baseball from sandlot to the show (includes high school and college ball) and the Negro League history of Baltimore.

Overall the Sports Legends Museum is a fun place to visit and certainly better than the Babe Ruth Museum since this place is fully accessible. It has some overlap with a similar display, although on a small scale, of Babe Ruth memorabilia. The organization of the history of baseball in Baltimore by innings is very well done. The Hall of Fame is more interesting than just plaques, as they are actually cases with memorabilia. Plus, there is some other sports things to see if you want to, especially related to football, but we were not interested and skipped that.

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