As baseball fans travel the country visiting the big league and minor league ballparks, their appetite for all things hardball is rarely filled. Time spent at the parks is magical, but there are still those off-days and rainouts; and there's always time to kill in or between destinations. Rather than wasting this extra time on the road, savvy fans make a point to visit some of the amazing baseball museums the country offers. We hope the list below allow you and your family to build cross-country trips to include not only big games but also these fine repositories of baseball's history.
Baseball Hall Of Fame Museum - 25 Main Street Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326
Bronze casts of the game's all-time greats are assembled in the famous Plaque Gallery, but the Hall is also a trove of memorabilia. Displays trace the history of baseball to its beginnings in the mid-1800s, with special exhibits dedicated to African-American players, ballparks, record-holders and Babe Ruth.
http://www.baseballhalloffame.org | (888) 425-5633
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Orioles Museum - 216 Emory St., Baltimore, Md. ( 2 1/2 blocks from Camden Yards )
Exhibits feature the Babe, Cal Ripken and the historic Cuba-Orioles exhibition in Havana. Orioles, NFL Colts and pre-majors Baltimore baseball also are represented.
http://www.baberuthmuseum.com | 410-727-1539
Ripken Museum - Aberdeen City Hall Building, Aberdeen, Md.
Located in Ripken's hometown, this is the official repository for his artifacts. Brimming with items from his record games-played streak, including a raft of items from No. 2,131, and the ball from Ripken's first game in the streak (May 30, 1982).
http://www.ballparkreviews.com/places/ripken.htm | 410-273-2525
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, N.J.
Opened last December, it includes artifacts from the Berra family, Cooperstown and collectors. The 1998 New York Yankees World Series championship trophy is on loan from George Steinbrenner.
http://www.yogiberramuseum.org | 973-655-2377
Peter J. McGovern Little League Baseball Museum - Route 15, South Williamsport, Pa.
Includes Hall of Excellence honoring famous Little League alumni.
http://www.littleleague.org | 570-326-3607
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Located around the corner from origin of Negro Leagues, the museum chronicles the story of black baseball and the Negro Leagues in particular. A 15-minute film includes rare color footage and 15 interactive video displays. Expect to be moved by it.
http://www.nlbm.com | 816-221-1920
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame - 111 Stadium Plaza, St. Louis
Includes models of old Sportsman's Park and Busch, as well as exhibits for the old St. Louis Browns and the city's two Negro League teams.
http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/history/stl_history_halloffame.jsp | 314-231-6340
Bob Feller Hometown Exhibit - 310 Mill St., Van Meter, Iowa
Along with uniforms and trophies from Feller's career
http://www.bobfellermuseum.org/ | 515-996-2806
Roger Maris Museum - West Acres Shopping Center | I-29 and 13th Avenue South, Fargo, N.D.
The hometown tribute to Maris -- accessible to all and free at his request -- is a freestanding, unattended exhibit along the wall of one of the mall's corridors. It includes videos and artifacts.
http://www.rogermarismuseum.com/museum/ | 701-282-2222
South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame - 519 Main St., Lake Norden, S.D.
Pictoral history of the amateur game in South Dakota, along with artifacts from about half of the 24 big-leaguers from the state.
Disclosure statement: It's also the pet project of Lake Norden native/USA TODAY baseball writer Mel Antonen.
National Baseball Congress (NBC) Hall of Fame - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Wichita, Kan.
The NBC governs several summer college leagues like the Alaska League. Museum contains artifacts of its tournament in which more than 600 major leaguers played before turning pro.
Comiskey Park Hall of Fame - Comiskey Park, Chicago, Ill.
Includes Shoeless Joe Jackson's original contract.
http://www.chisox.com | 312-674-1000
Original Baseball Hall of Fame Museum of Minneapolis - 910 S. Third St., Minneapolis, across the street from the Metrodome
Owned by Ray Crump, former batboy of the Washington Senators and equipment manager of the Minnesota Twins
Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum and Hall of Fame - Turner Field, Atlanta
More than 200 artifacts from the franchise's history in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta -- most notable is the bat and ball from Hank Aaron's 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's career record.
http://www.atlantabraves.com/turnerfield/museum | 404-614-2311
Ty Cobb Museum, 461 Cook St., Royston, Ga.
Opened last July. It features many items from Cobb's personal life as well as career.
http://www.tycobbmuseum.org/ | 706-245-1825
Legends of the Game Baseball Museum - The Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers
Includes interactive exhibits and displays on the Negro Leagues, Rangers, Texas League baseball and old ballparks.
http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ballpark/museum.jsp | 817-273-5600
Nolan Ryan Center, Alvin Community College, Alvin, Texas
Just-opened museum includes memorabilia and videos/broadcast audio of Ryan's career and an interactive pitch-catch simulator in which guest "feels" a Ryan fastball in a catcher's mitt.
Dizzy Dean Museum - 1152 Lakeland Dr., Jackson, Miss.
Once a separate museum, the collection is now part of the new Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Lots of interactive displays, including touch screens to show old films. Mississippi natives honored: Cool Papa Bell of Negro Leagues.
http://www.msfame.com/mu_exhibits.html | 601-982-8264
Louisville Slugger Museum - 800 W. Main St., Louisville
The world's tallest bat greets you at the entrance. Inside are valuable and rare bats/equipment and other artifacts.
http://www.slugger.com/museum | 502-588-7228
Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame - 2455 N. Citrus Hills Blvd., Hernando, Fla.
Laid out in the shape of a baseball diamond, the museum chronicles Williams' career and pays tribute to other great hitters of the game. The "Legends Impact Walk of Fame" features more than 100 black granite plaques for honorees.
http://www.hitter.com | 352-527-6566