Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum-Louisville, KY: Ah, ‘The Sandlot’, definitely one of the best baseball films ever made, and a favorite for many. Recently the Louisville Slugger Museum hosted a For-Ever-Fest to honor this great movie, featuring movie props as well as a Q & A with members of the cast and crew. To the props first. We were able to see the nick knacks in the movie that made it great, such as Benny’s PF Flyers, Squint’s glasses, and, of course, the baseballs signed by the Great Bambino himself.
After checking those out, it was time for the Q & A with some cast and crew, featuring director and co-writer David Mickey Evens, Shane Obedzinski (who played Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons), and props master Terry Haskell.
After the Q & A we did the tour and hit the gift shop. Brian got himself a new ‘Sandlot’ shirt and mini-bat. Lucky for us, David Mickey Evans and Shane Obedzinski were shopping at the time, also. I had a good little conversation with Evans, not just about ‘The Sandlot’, but about another one of my favorite baseball movies he directed, ‘The Final Season’. Brian was able to get a photo with ‘Tommy Timmons’, then we called it a day. On the way out, Brian asked: “Hey Dad, was this one of those once in a lifetime things?”. The answer was pretty easy: “Yes, son, it was…”.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory-Louisville, KY: Brian and I started the new year off on a good note, visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory to check out some LEGO action. The Big Leagues Little Bricks exhibit has been at the museum for the last year, but this is the first chance we’ve had to check it out. The summer was busy with all sorts or games and activities, and now with Christmas and New Years winding down, it seemed like the perfect time. The first thing on Brian’s agenda was definitely seeing the LEGOS. They had full ballparks such as Wrigley Field, Miller Park, and the Great American Ballpark up in Cincinnati on display, as well as some portraits of some players. Brian was even able to play and make some creations of his own.
After the factory tour (where photos are not allowed), we hung out in the other museum area to see all that was on display there. Since Ken Griffey Jr. is Brian’s favorite player, he wanted to hold his bat and take a few swings. The museum also had a life-size statue of ‘The Kid’ he got his photo with.
This was a fun day for Brian and I to spend together. I love seeing all of the other bat exhibits and seeing pieces of history. I really can’t recommend this enough for any baseball fan, and the off-season is a perfect time to check it out and get ready for spring.
North Carolina TarHeels vs. Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: I’m not going to lie. We never saw one inning of this game. Not one pitch, not one at-bat…nothing. For some reason the ACC decided to keep postponing the game, even though the weather was fine at the time. The photo above is the TarHeels just hanging out, waiting to play ball. However that wouldn’t happen for a couple of more hours. Yes, there was a chance of rain, and yes, it did end up raining, but not until after the postponed start. The ACC could have given the go-ahead, and when it DID rain, at least the teams would have gotten a large chunk of the game in. Also, as we did, a large chunk of the paid attendance wouldn’t have been cheated out of a game, either, as fans headed for the gates when the announcement came that the game wouldn’t start for awhile, yet. FINAL: TarHeels 12, Hurricanes 4.
I’m not going to lie. I really would have liked to have seen this game, but since it didn’t get over until almost midnight, that would have made for a very long and strenuous day, especially with my dad and Brian at the ballpark impatiently waiting for baseball that we paid for. At least Brian got to meet some of the North Carolina players, but we didn’t have a chance to catch up with any Hurricanes.
Before the announcement of the delay, we took the time to check out the ACC Fan Fest in the West Wing of Slugger Field. I really wish the ACC would have shown that this is an important event, and maybe had some more things going on, and maybe some of the school mascots on hand instead of just cardboard cutouts of them. Brian at least got to see the ACC Championship trophy, too.
We spent most of the time at the Louisville Slugger display, where Brian was able to hold some bats of Major Leaguers, including Louisville’s own Adam Duvall. Again, we were all very disappointed that we weren’t able to see any of this game, but just couldn’t stay there and wait around any longer. I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the way the ACC handled this tournament as a whole, from the pool play down to it’s weather delays. But, then again, having NC play until midnight and have to be ready to play the next day at noon, gave a HUGE advantage to the waiting Seminoles… Hhhhmm….
Louisville 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.
We 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.
After 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’.
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.
Next 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!