THE AMERICAN STARTING NINE: TOP NINE U.S. BASEBALL MUSEUMS OUTSIDE COOPERSTOWN
The ballpark road trip experience is never complete without
a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. But as Joe Connor has discovered from his many travels,
so too is a trip not complete without a visit to one of his “Top 10 U.S. Baseball Museums Outside Cooperstown.”
You can learn about these museums and many others in the annually-updated, A Fan’s Guide To The Ultimate Ballpark
Tour: Fully Loaded! which can be purchased at the Buy Joe's Guides page. We hope you enjoy this list and some photos from these museums,
and make time on your next journey across America to visit some of the country’s underrated museums with plenty of rich
baseball history on display. If you want to view a sample of the guide and how easy the guide works, visit the MLB Ballpark Trips page.
1. Negro Leagues Museum,
Kansas City, MO
This museum, located in downtown Kansas City,
takes fans on an extraordinary journey on what it was like being a baseball player in the Negro Leagues, and as an African-American
living in America before blacks were given equal rights.
2. Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville,
An outstanding opportunity for fans to not
only learn about the history of Louisville Slugger, but also see how bats are manufactured and even take a few hacks as well.
3. Alabama Sports Museum/Rickwood Field, Birmingham,
Probably the best state-run sports museum
in the fruited plain, with multiple floors of baseball memorabilia from notable Alabamans, like Hank Aaron and Ozzie Smith.
The museum is downtown while just on the outskirts is Rickwood Field, which looks as if it hasn’t changed much since
its debut in 1910.
4. Oklahoma Sports
Museum, Guthrie, OK
This museum outside
Oklahoma City in downtown Guthrie has an abundance of memorabilia on famous Okie’s to star in the big leagues, from
window frames from Mickey Mantle’s boyhood home to jerseys and more from Johnny Bench and others.
Sports Legends at Camden Yards Museum/Babe Ruth Museum, Baltimore
are two separate museums, but they’re both located within easy walking distance of each other from the Orioles ballpark.
The Sports Legends museum has a great history on the Orioles franchise while the Babe museum, while small in artifacts, looms
large in that it’s reminiscent of the house the Bambino grew up in.
Monument Park, (New) Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
At the new “House that Ruth
Built,” Monument Park beyond the outfield fence is a gem that bleeds plenty of Pinstrip history.
7. National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, Chicago, IL
Unsung and unheralded, this museum has more memorabilia than it knows what to do with, from
Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio to Yogi to Tommy LaSorda and many others.
American Sports Art Museum (U.S. Sports Academy), Daphne, AL
outside Mobile on the Gulf Coast, this sports art museum at the U.S. Sports Academy has an incredible variety of paintings
and portraits, retracing baseball’s past, from the 1950s to the Negro Leagues to the present day.
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame & Wichita Sports Hall of Fame/Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, Wichita, KS
Two separate sports museums in the great sports town of Wichita. The downtown Kansas Sports Museum highlights Kansans in all facets of sport, including
baseball. Separately, the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame/Kansas Baseball Hall
of Fame takes fans on a unique journey through the annual National Baseball Congress tourney, plus the rich history
of Wichita Minor League Baseball.
Some Honorable Mentions: Cardinals Museum, St. Louis, MO; Cincinnati Reds
Hall of Fame & Museum, Cincinnati, OH; Braves Museum & Hall of Fame, Atlanta, GA; Little League Museum, Williamsport,
PA; Yogi Berra Museum, Little Falls, NJ; San Diego Hall of Champions Museum, San Diego, CA; Field of Dreams Movie
Site, Dyersville, IA; Nolan Ryan Exhibit, Alvin, TX