Best Cities For Baseball Collectors And Enthusiasts
If you’re a baseball collector or simply a fan, then luckily for you there are cities and towns all across the country that offer as much baseball history and artifacts as you can handle.
Each of these destinations offers its own unique contribution to the history of America’s pastime.
Some of these places are famous for their contribution to the game itself. Others are home to some terrific museums of individual players.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy the game, the following cities are some that you should definitely put on your travel agenda.
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame making it arguably the most famous of all baseball cities. The entire history of the game is captured here through historical documents and photos. Additionally, breathtaking game-used memorabilia from the game's greatest players is on display in many exhibits. The village and museum are must-see destinations for any serious fan or collector.
Cooperstown is a collector's dream. On Main St and by Doubleday Field, there are many shops that carry cards (old and new), autographs (past and present), yearbooks, posters, postcards, glassware, jerseys, you name it. Besides being Mayor, I'm a long time collector and, for me, it's a gift to be able to run in to a local shop and pick up, say, an autographed 1967 Chuck Hinton card for a few bucks. What other Mayor can make that claim about his/her village?
Mayor of Cooperstown
Baseball Hall of Fame Website: www.baseballhall.org/
Follow Jeff Katz on Twitter: @SplitSeason1981
Follow The National Baseball HOF On Twitter: @baseballhall
Follow The National Baseball HOF On Facebook: @baseballhall
The Reds became the second team to create its own Hall of Fame in 1958 when Ernie Lombardi, Frank McCormick, Paul Derringer, Bucky Walters and Johnny Vander Meer were inducted at Crosley Field. The team is rich in history and featured some of the game's greatest in Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan among others. This is a no-brainer visit for any Reds fan.
The home of the first all-professional baseball team in 1869, Cincinnati remains a city steeped in tradition especially as it relates to its Cincinnati Reds. With so many firsts in baseball throughout the years, five World Championships, and countless baseball heroes making Cincinnati their home, it is no surprise that the Queen City boasts the largest team Hall of Fame and Museum in all of baseball. Throughout the storied history of the club, the fans have remained the one constant and the museum strives to preserve and promote that great history to thousands of fans, young and old, year round. To do this, we rely on many of the artifact collections of the fans who generously donate and loan their collections to the game so that we may share them. Whether it’s baseball cards, historic photos, or autographs from Crosley Field or Riverfront Stadium era players, the business of buying, selling, and collecting is a popular enterprise for some and a hobby for many.
Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
Reds HOF & Museum Website: www.cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof/
Follow The Reds HOF & Museum On Twitter: @RedsMuseum
Follow The Reds HOF & Museum On Facebook: @redsmuseum
Cleveland is another Ohio city rich in baseball history. And much of it is documented at the Baseball Heritage Museum located inside League Park, former home to the Cleveland Indians from 1901 to 1946. The Negro League Cleveland Buckeyes also called League Park home from 1943 to 1948. With so much ball played between these two famous clubs, you can only imagine all of the amazing items on display inside the museum.
Just ten minutes from downtown Cleveland, The Baseball Heritage Museum is in the former ticket office at League Park, a ballpark built in the era of Ebbets Field, Fenway, and Comiskey Park. The grandstands are gone, but the field has been restored to its original dimensions. Come stand where the American League Cleveland Indians won the 1920 World Series and the Negro League Cleveland Buckeyes won the 1945 Championship. This is also where Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run, and Joe DiMaggio had his last hit before his streak ended. Inside the museum you will experience the stories, photographs, letters, programs, uniforms and other game-used treasured memorabilia detailing the important contributions from the Latin and Caribbean leagues, the Industrial and Barnstormer leagues, and the Negro and Women's leagues that helped shape the history of the great American pastime. Admission is always free.
Baseball Heritage Museum
Baseball Heritage Museum Website: www.baseballheritagemuseum.org/
Follow The Baseball Heritage Museum On Twitter: @BSBHeritage_Mus
Follow The Baseball Heritage Museum On Facebook: @BaseballHeritageMuseum
Simply put, Ty Cobb was one of the most feared hitters to ever step in the batter's box. Known for his aggressive style of play, opposing teams dreaded the moments when he stepped up to the plate. Cobb grew up in Royston, Georgia which is now the proud home of an entire museum dedicated to documenting the legacy of the "Georgia Peach". Many incredible items are on display for fans and collectors to enjoy.
On a towering granite monument in front of the Royston library building built in his honor, there's a long-ago quote from the New York Times calling Ty Cobb, Royston's favorite native son, "the greatest and smartest player baseball has ever known." The legendary sports writer, Grantland Rice, dubbed Ty Cobb the "Georgia Peach." But, Roystonians and others worldwide, many of whom have benefited from the generosity of Cobb's educational trust, call him a hero. Come to Royston and tour our world class museum full of priceless Cobb artifacts, see Felix de Weldon's bronze sculpture of Cobb sliding into home, and then visit Cobb's regal burial mausoleum in the city's cemetery. You will discover our city's most famous son was more than the infamous baseball legend with a .367 batting average, he was a true gentleman, shrewd businessman, and lifelong philanthropist whose benevolence continues 60 years after his death.
Mayor of Royston
Ty Cobb Museum Website: www.tycobbmuseum.org/~tycobb/
Greenville, South Carolina
In 1921, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's first commissioner, banned "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players from the game for life for allegedly fixing the 1919 World Series. Despite the controversy, Jackson goes down as one of the greatest hitters and most cherished players of all time. Today, you can see much of his history and artifacts on display in his museum in Greenville, South Carolina, where he died.
The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, SC, opened in 2008 as the national centerpiece honoring one of the most beloved figures in baseball history. The museum is in the small brick house where “Shoeless Joe” lived and died. In addition to a baseball library and gift shop, the museum displays artifacts, photographs, films, and other items of interest associated with Jackson’s historic life and baseball career. Remembered through countless books, several movies, and even a Broadway play, Jackson continues to be one of most publicized ball players of all time. As Mayor of Greenville, SC, I cordially invite baseball fans to visit the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum where Joe is always safe at home!
Mayor of Greenville
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Millions of children in more than 80 countries worldwide participate in Little League Baseball year after year. And it's every every kid's dream to have a shot at playing in the Little League World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Much of the league's history is captured at the World of Little League Museum. Just walking through the museum and seeing hundreds of artifacts and documents strikes up many a memory for baseball enthusiasts. Some of my fondest baseball memories stem from my days playing Little League
Each year, nearly 2.4 million boys and girls in more than 80 countries worldwide participate in Little League Baseball and Softball, with many of them dreaming of heading to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to participate in the Little League Baseball World Series. Since its founding in 1939, Little League has since become the world's largest organized youth sports organization, and much of the league's history can be found at The World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store. Featuring more than 300 artifacts, including a personal collection of Little League Founder, Carl E. Stotz, a fully interactive exhibit hall, and the only complete game-worn Babe Ruth uniform on display in the world, the World of Little League Museum is a perfect place to spark the inner child of baseball enthusiasts from all around the world. In fact, some of my fondest baseball memories stem from my days playing Little League. It had a direct impact on my love and appreciation for baseball.
Little League Museum Website: www.littleleague.org/learn/museum.htm
Follow Little League Museum On Twitter: @LLBMuseum
Follow Little League Museum On Facebook: @LittleLeagueMuseum
Fargo, North Dakota
During one magical season in 1961, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle put on one of the greatest displays of hitting power the game has ever seen. Maris would go on to break Babe Ruth's single season home run that year, forever cementing him as a Yankee and baseball legend. To honor its hometown hero, the city of Fargo, North Dakota established a museum dedicated to Maris.
The Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, N.D., was created to honor Maris, who hit a Major League Baseball record 61 home runs during the 1961 season for the New York Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record of 60 home runs in 1927. Maris requested that his museum be located in his home town of Fargo and the museum be built where people would see it. He also requested the museum be free and open to the public.The museum opened at the West Acres Shopping Center in Fargo in 1984 and true to Maris’ wishes, is visible, accessible and free. The glass-enclosed exhibit enables visitors to view displays and artifacts from Maris’ youth and Major League playing days including his jerseys from the Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals, his MVP awards, many bats, home run balls and baseball cards as well as a portrait of Maris presiding over his Sultan of Swat crowns. There is a separate room where visitors can watch video highlights of his career while sitting in actual seats from Yankee Stadium.The museum was home to Maris’ S. Rae Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year belt he received in 1961 until it was stolen from the museum in 2016. The belt was awarded for 27 years to the top professional athlete of the year in the United States. It was made from alligator skin with a solid gold buckle and encrusted with diamonds and other gems.
Mayor of Fargo
The Roger Maris Museum Website: www.westacres.com/roger-maris-museum.php
Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest superstars the game of baseball has ever seen. Known for his dedication to community involvement and charitable giving, he was an even greater human being off the field. The Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is dedicated to preserving his legacy and is a must see for any baseball enthusiast. The memorabilia and documentation on site will surely impress.
The Clemente Museum is open by appointment only for guided tours. The tours are about 1.5 hours, and the tour guide will show you through the entire Museum, sharing stories about "The Great One". Please call or email our office to set up a tour, 412-621-1268 or [email protected]
The Clemente Museum
Ask any baseball fan what his or her favorite baseball movies are and there's no question that "Field of Dreams" will be high up on the list. The farm and baseball field on which much of the famous movie was filmed still stands today as one of the most unique baseball attractions you'll ever see. The site plays host to multiple events throughout the year and is a must see for baseball fans across the country.
The Field of Dreams Movie Site welcomes all baseball lovers and lovers of this movie to this home, this farm, this baseball field, this little piece of heaven on earth. Welcome to this place where dreams can come true. A place of fertile soil, traditional values and simple pleasure and the LOVE of baseball. And in Dyersville, Iowa, at the century-old Lansing family farm with its quaint, and oh-so-recognizable house, baseball still ranks as a favorite pastime for all ages. What better place to come to with family and play a game, run the bases, or just have a "catch with dad"! Come visit the farm and tour the baseball field and now for the first time ever you can schedule a home tour, and if you've never witnessed a Ghost Sunday Show, it is a 90-minute, family-friendly comedy routine at the Field of Dreams Movie Site held at 1pm in 2017 on these Sundays July 2, 16, and 31st and August 13, 2017. Thrill in the Team of Dreams event on Sept 3-4, 2017, where Major League Baseball's most celebrated players will take to the field for a celebrity game on Sunday, September 3 as well as an autograph session that allows fans to take home a memento of the weekend. For more information please check our website: www.fodmoviesite.com.
Field of Dreams Movie Site
Field of Dreams Movie Site Website: www.fodmoviesite.com
Follow Field of Dreams Movie Site On Twitter: @fodmoviesite
Follow Field of Dreams Movie Site On Facebook: @FieldOfDreamsMovieSite
St. Petersburg, Florida
Ted Williams was perhaps the greatest hitter to ever play the game of baseball. Had he not missed time to serving in World War II, he may have even broken Babe Ruth's career home run record long before Hank Aaron did. Exhibits of Williams and other baseball greats can be seen on display at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Ted Williams Museum & Hitters Hall of Fame located at Tropicana Field is free to all game day ticket holders. The 10,000 sq. ft Museum houses 96 Baseball greats of the Game, from Babe Ruth to Pete Rose, every team is represented. The Museum has a Negro league section and a history of the AAGPBL as seen in the movie "A League of their Own". There is something for evry fan at the Ted Williams Museum & Hitters Hall of Fame. The Staff of the Museum conduct charity sports auctions full time for the TB Rays, Boston Red Sox & Minnesota Twins both in spring training and at each major league park throughout the season. The Museum has thousands of autographed pieces, representing every team, in every major league sport. The Museum conducts signings with players at the ballparks throughout the season and fans can meet and get an autograph for a donation to one of the many Museum charities. The Ted Williams Museum inducted Pete Rose & Willie Horton on February 18, 2017 at our annual on the field dinner at Tropicana Field. Fans received free autographs during the reception form such greats as Tony Perez, Louie Tiant, Tony Oliva, Roy Halladay and many more. Please visit one of our locations and help us maintain one of baseball's greatest treasures.
Ted Williams Foundation
Ted Williams Museum Website: www.tedwilliamsmuseum.com/
Follow The Ted Williams Museum On Twitter: @twmuseum
Follow The Ted Williams Museum On Facebook: @TWmuseum
Alabama industrialist Rick Woodward and baseball legend Connie Mack teamed up to create legendary Rickwood Field, which originally opened up in 1910. The list of names of players who have played here is incredible: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. These are just a few of the many legends who once graced this famous ballpark. Be sure and drop by to see a game or one of their many collector events.
Rickwood Field, America's oldest baseball park, is a mecca for baseball enthusiasts and collectors, social historians, and everyone simply interested in the national pastime. As both a baseball venue and a cultural destination, the ballpark captures the rich spirit and tradition of America's game. In addition to hosting over 175 games annually, the park is also home to numerous collector and exhibitor events. The annual Southern Association Baseball Conference attracts authors, historians, and collectors from around the South, who share their research and display their collections. The Southeastern Glovers group also hosts an annual event, consisting of opportunities to show, sell, and swap baseball and sports memorabilia. And the annual Rickwood Classic ballgame features an on-site memorabilia auction, as well as a separate silent uniform auction, where patrons bid on the game-worn Classic uniforms. Event schedule and details are available on-line, at rickwood.com. We look forward to seeing everyone at the ballpark!
Friends of Rickwood
Rickwood Field Website: www.rickwood.com/
Follow Rickwood Field On Twitter: @Rickwood_Field
Follow Rickwood Field On Facebook: @friendsofrickwood
The Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball is easily one of the coolest efforts to promote baseball history that I've ever seen. By dressing in attire and playing live games by the rules of the period, this unique group of enthusiasts is dedicated to educating the public on 19th century style baseball. It's a very interesting concept to keep early baseball heritage alive that will surely entertain any baseball enthusiast.
This year the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball will open the 2017 season with 180 ballists taking the field at 10 different historic sites and museums across the state. Twelve teams will grapple throughout the summer to claim the pennant and play for the Sulphur Dell Cup. And, although scores will be kept for the matches and the standings will be updated after every game, the real purpose for the league is to entertain and educate the fans who attend our games. Our ballists will mingle with the crowd, answer questions about the arcane rules, and pose for the ever-present photographers. If we can send our fans home with a bit more knowledge about the history of base ball and with a smile on their faces, we will have truly won the game!
Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball
Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball Website: www.tennesseevintagebaseball.com/
Follow The Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball On Twitter: @TaoVBB
Follow The Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball On Facebook: @taovbb
Fans of baseball will surely not want to miss a chance to see this amazing attraction in Denver, Colorado. This museum features one-of-a-kind items from every Major League baseball team. What started as owner Bruce Hellerstein's small private collection has now blossomed into one of the country's finest collections of baseball and ballpark memorabilia. What Hellerstein has been able to put together is nothing short of amazing--do not miss this one!
The National Ballpark Museum is a wonderful place to step back into time to the golden age of the Great American Pastime. Baseball fans of all levels - from the casual fan to ardent students of the deep and storied history of the game - will enjoy the tour of the museum.
National Ballpark Museum
National Ballpark Museum Website: www.ballparkmuseum.com/
Follow The National Ballpark Museum On Twitter: @Bballparkmuseum
Follow The National Ballpark Museum On Facebook: @ballparkmuseum
Little Falls, New Jersey
Yogi Berra was arguably the greatest catcher to ever play the game. He was a feared hitter and brought much charm to the game with his famous sayings like, "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious." Berra was one of the most unique players to ever play the game. Deservedly, there is an entire museum and learning center devoted to him. It's a must see for any Yankee fan or baseball enthusiast in general.
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is a place where the values that made Yogi Berra a national treasure — respect, perseverance, teamwork and excellence — live on for a new generation of learners and leaders. Open noon to five, Wednesdays through Sundays, the Museum is home to a permanent collection of numerous photographs and artifacts that document Yogi's inspirational life, as well as a 65-seat stadium style theater. Through culturally diverse, sports-based exhibits and programs, “the House that Yogi built" is keeping the legacy of baseball’s winningest player alive and strong, because when it comes to doing what’s right, “It ain't over!"
Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
Yogi Berra Museum Website: www.yogiberramuseum.org/
Follow The Yogi Berra Museum On Twitter: @Yogi_Museum
Follow The Yogi Berra Museum On Facebook: @yogiberramuseum
There is perhaps no other company name that is more synonymous with the game of baseball than Louisville Slugger. Many of the game's greatest moments have been defined by their bats. Dimaggio's 56 game hit streak bat, Hank Aaron's 700th home run bat, and a bat that Babe Ruth used to hit 21 of his 60 home runs in 1927 are all on display at this must-see location. Words can't explain the amount of history within these walls.
Louisville's ties to baseball have been strong since 1875, when the city hosted discussions that led to the formation of the National League. The Louisville Grays were one of the inaugural NL teams, and over the decades bona fide baseball superstars have played for Louisville's major and minor league teams. All-time greats like Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Earle Combs, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Torre and more suited up for Louisville. Some years, our hometown minor league teams even outdrew several major league franchises.
A mega-scandal in 1877, multiple stadium fires, player strikes, bankruptcies and other challenges did not deter Louisville's love for baseball. One constant through the years has been Louisville Slugger baseball bats, which are celebrated at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Guests can see the iconic bats made in the factory still owned by Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the family business that produced its first professional bat in 1884. Along with the authentic factory tour guests can enjoy interactive exhibits and The Big Bat towering 120 feet into the sky. Baseball lovers should be sure to time their visit so they can take in one of the special Bat Vault tours.
Baseball enthusiasts will also be keen on the Louisville Slugger Walk of Fame, which connects the museum with Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds. Players honored along the mile-long Walk of Fame are enshrined with a bronze replica of their Louisville Slugger bat and a home plate featuring their accomplishments.
Baseball fans of all ages should swing by Louisville!
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Kansas City, Missouri
For decades, African-Americans were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues. From 1920 to 1960, the Negro Leagues offered many a chance to continue playing the game they loved. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is home to the legacy of some of the league's finest players. Artifacts and stories of Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Jackie Robinson are just a few of the many wonderful exhibits on display.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Website: www.nlbm.com/
Follow The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum On Facebook: @NegroLeaguesBaseballMuseum
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Babe Ruth is hands down the game's most iconic player. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum "presents the life and times of George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Baltimore's native son who became America's first sports celebrity and an international icon" he would go on to you can stop by his museum and learning everything you could possible want to know about the great "Bambino".
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum Website: www.baberuthmuseum.org/
Follow Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum On Twitter: @BabeRuthMuseum
New York, New York
Even though the Jackie Robinson museum isn't quite ready yet I still wanted to add New York to this list because of it. The importance of Jackie Robinson to not only baseball but American history in general cannot be understated. Once complete, this museum is going to be an absolute must see for any baseball fan.
Jackie Robinson Museum Website: www.jackierobinson.org/about/museum/
Follow The Jackie Robinson Foundation On Twitter: @JRFoundation
Follow The Jackie Robinson Foundation On Facebook: @jrf42
The Hank Aaron Museum currently sits inside the childhood home of "The Hammer" that was originally built but his father, Herbert Aaron. As you move from room to room in the house, the museum progresses from Hank's love of the game as a kid to his career moments in the Majors. It's a truly unique museum dedicated to the memories and achievements of one the game's most feared hitters of all time.
Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum Website: Hank Aaron Museum
Follow Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum On Twitter: @BabeRuthMuseum
With the long-awaited Cubs World Series victory in 2016, baseball fever is stronger than ever in the "Windy City". And while still not complete yet, the Chicago Baseball Museum will continue spreading that fever as the home of one of the finest collections of baseball artifacts and memorabilia. Between the Cubs, White Sox, American Giants, Wrigley Field, and Comiskey Park, founder Dr. David Fletcher will have no shortage of amazing baseball history to share with the public.
Chicago Baseball Museum Website: www.chicagobaseballmuseum.org/
Follow The Chicago Baseball Museum On Facebook: Chicago Baseball Museum
Van Meter, Iowa
Bob Feller was one of the most feared pitchers to ever grace the mound. And in 1995, his hometown of Van Meter, Iowa honored him by opening the Bob Feller Museum. Interestingly, his son Steve was the lead architect on the project. Memorabilia collectors will marvel at the many uniforms, balls and documents on display in his honor.
Bob Feller Museum Website: www.bobfellermuseum.org/
Follow The Bob Feller Museum On Twitter: @bobfellermuseum
Follow The Bob Feller Museum On Facebook: @bobfellermuseum
St. Louis, Missouri
Having won eleven World Series Championships, the St. Louis Cardinals are undoubtedly one of the game's most storied franchises. The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium and contains seven galleries in total. Home to one of the country's largest team-specific collections, you'll find amazing relics from Cardinals legends Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Dizzy Dean, and Rogers Hornsby just to name a few.
Cardinals HOF and Museum Website: www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/cardinals-nation/hof.jsp
Over the course of his storied career, Cy Young racked up 511 total wins and goes down as one of the game's greatest pitchers of all time. Today, the best pitchers of the American and National Leagues are given the Cy Young Award for their achievements. In Newcomerstown, Ohio, you can visit the Temperance Tavern Museum to see some amazing artifacts and memorabilia of the famous pitcher on display.
The Best Baseball Cities In Review
While there are many amazing baseball venues all over the nation, these are several of the very best in terms of recognizing historical figures and elements of the game. It's important to keep the history and memories of our nation's past time in tact and these cities are doing a wonderful job! If you're in the area or just want to take a small vacation somewhere then be sure to visit any one of these great cities and their baseball hot spots.
What's your favorite spot on this list? Or do you think we may have left out an important city ? Leave a comment below and let us know!