Saturday, July 25, 2009

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Visiting Louisville, Kentucky for business on Thursday, I decided to play a little "hooky" in the late afternoon. Knowing that the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory was only open until 6 pm, I headed to downtown Louisville. I had not been in the downtown area since I had my first 3-day pass from Army basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky back in 1970. It's a very nice area, all about the Ohio River. It was easy to spot the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory because of the 8-store replica bat that adorns the entrance. It is however difficult to navigate to the place due to so many one-way streets. After parking and walking a short distance to the facility, it wasn't long before the younger person in me emerged and dominated the next two and a half hours. There is a very informative tour of the factory that lasts about 20 minutes with Q & A at the end. The museum itself is somewhat small but very entertaining, informative, and fun to view. There is a theater that shows a short movie narrated by none other than Jame Earl Jones. The movie is graced with many shots of Progressive field and past and current Cleveland Indians to my surprise. There is a batting cage and an area where you can "Hold a Piece of History."

I was caught by surprise by the life-size likeness of Babe Ruth standing in the middle of the museum, in a pose concluding a swing that produced one of the Bambino's home runs. I almost thought this was a mime who would come to life any second as the likeness looked so real. The eyes of the Babe were so focused on the trajectory of the ball that he had just launched.
Of course there is a store in the museum and the most active part of that store is the back where you can order a customized genuine Louisville Slugger for yourself. The line for this was incredible when you consider the average price of the creation is about $60. (Mine cost me $74 plus shipping as orders after 4:15 pm must be picked up the next day or shipped.)

Exiting the store, there is a wall of signatures of major league ball players. It did not take me long to find Rocky Colavito and then to view many, many more.
The museum and factory is a great place to visit, reward yourself with a genuine Louisville Slugger, and learn about the great traditions of the 125 year history of the factory. I think it is someplace that you would not want to miss if you were nearby.
Upon walking out of the museum, it was fitting to learn that Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox had just pitched a perfect game that afternoon!

No comments: