Bats & Birthdays Vol. 1

28298497151_560718372a_zLouisville Slugger Museum & Factory-Louisville, KY:  While the Louisville Slugger Museum was celebrating its 20th birthday, I was celebrating one of my own.  It seemed like a perfect fit for both of us to celebrate together, so the boys and I made a trip to the city for a day of baseball fun.

28377280755_57ce53e0a7_zWe arrived, and got into the factory tour right away.  They don’t allow any photography during the factory portion, but it was interesting seeing how the bats were made.  Trevor and I had been here before way back in 2009, but it was still fun for him to see it all again, and understand it now that he’s a bit older.  And of course Brian ate it all up, and loved seeing the whole bat-making process.

27760721824_0a1fc8fc0f_zAfter the tour, we checked out the permanent exhibits at the museum.  There are many relics and bats from the all-time greats of this sport!  Below, Brian looks good with Hank Aaron’s bat, and he’s grown up with stories of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, so he was a little in ‘awe’ of ‘Black Betsy’.

28377286595_d9601e8373_z27760724344_1ffb819fff_zHere’s Trevor with the Sultan of Swat himself, along with Babe’s best bat ‘Darlin” below that.  I still have a great pic of the two when Trevor could barely see over the bat stand!

Trevor and the Babe
Trevor and the Babe

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As a Tiger fan, I don’t think the Justin Upton signing was a great deal, but I do love his flame-tempered bat!  And below that, the third bat down was used by the greatest Tiger of them all, one of the best hitters in history, Ty Cobb.

28094772180_aa59da16d5_z27760726114_f728545ee8_zAnd now Bri is hanging out on this big glove…

27760731774_c7d1cfc393_zNext we hit the cage!  Brian did his best Hammerin’ Hank impression.

28343911776_8c85d1c127_z28298567271_fb154117c7_zThen I tried to do a little laser show myself…

27761611293_864ea45ee2_zNext we checked out the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Oddball exhibit, which is here in Louisville temporarily.  It contains some cool stuff, but not everything in it pertains to baseball.  The photos are of Yankee Stadium made of toothpicks, and a real ‘double-header’, a two-headed calf.  I highly recommend this factory tour and museum for any baseball fan in the area.  It’s definitely worth going out of your way for, also, as it’s one of the best baseball places I’ve been to, second only maybe to the actual Hall of Fame.  The history of the company is so rich, especially all of the great players who have swung Louisville lumber.  I’m glad the museum and I could celebrate our birthdays together!

28094852760_59e6998634_z28343978766_d7ca6542e6_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

Being Mobile in Alabama

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hankstadium2.jpgHeading to Mobile, Alabama to watch the Central Michigan Chippewas take on Troy in the GMAC Bowl, did not really quench my thirst for some baseball. While down there we stopped by Hank Aaron Stadium, home to the Mobile BayBears of the AA Southern League, to check things out.

Southern hospitality had to have started here, as we were invited right into the offices of the BayBears. The gentelman working was nice enough to open the gift shop for us, and the stadium, so we could get some pictures. We also got to see Hank Aaron’s childhood home, which is being reconstructed at the ballpark. Unfortunately, the museum doesn’t open until April, but we could still see the progress from the outside.

My only regret about this trip was not being able to see a game played here. It is a very unique stadium, with the luxury boxes actually at the ground level. This opens things up for the regular seats to have some very good sitelines of the field. I’ve heard some complaints on other sites about this, but really how boring would things be if all ballparks were built the same. Hank Aaron Stadium is truelly an original spectical.

The museum opens on April 14, with Hank himself being in attendance. We were also told that the likes of Ozzie Smith, Bob Feller, and Bud Selig (yeah) will be there. I, unfortunately, will not probably be able to attend, but I would recommend it to anyone in that area.

For you fooball fans, CMU beat Troy 44-41 in double OT in one of the best games I’ve witnessed.

 
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baybears.jpg  Photos property of MIB