Yesterday I visited the Louisville Slugger Museum for the first time. I’ve lived here my whole life and never made it there until now. Why did I go? We had family in town from Texas and that is the one place they had to see for sure. We had the best time! Parking was convenient with a garage behind their building and elevators that transport you to the lobby.
We purchased tickets and were greeted by a charismatic gentleman named Don. He was our tour guide for the morning. Don gave the kids cotton gloves so they could hold one of Mickey Mantle’s baseball bats. That was pretty exciting. From there we were lead into the factory to see production of the wooden bats. They don’t allow photography at that point, but I would have loved to have a few photo keepsakes of the process.
On the tour you can hold many bats, different styles, and weights, some that are made specifically for major league players. They have natural bats, stained bats, black bats, and pink bats. Don told us that Hillerich-Bradsby produces 60 percent of the baseball bats for the major leagues. They also manufacture metal bats, golf clubs, gloves, and the Bionic Glove. Anything labeled TPS or TPX is theirs.
They can make a bat from either white-ash or maple in less than 30 seconds.The production area is a very busy place and I was interested to learn that they recycle all the sawdust. It is loaded into a truck and taken to a turkey farm in Indiana to be used as bedding.
The conclusion of the tour brings you to the lobby and gift shop area and everyone receives a souvenir, a small baseball bat to take home. Don was kind enough to choose my daughter to help hand them out.
Our group enjoyed the play area. Climbing on top of and into the huge baseball glove was lots of fun and the batting cages entertained the older kids.
Children of all ages will enjoy this popular attraction! We were there for about two hours. The factory tour lasts 30 minutes, we took some time to look around, play and peruse the gift shop. You can have a custom bat made for yourself (or someone else), for an extra charge. They give you four lines of imprint and can make them while you wait most of the time.
The museum is gearing up to host Norman Rockwell: Sports, March 19 - August 14. This exhibit will feature original artwork by Norman Rockwell with a sports theme. There is no additional fee for this exhibit.
Their hours are Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm and Sunday Noon-5:00pm EST. Admission price: $10 - Adults (13-59), $ 9 - Seniors (60+), $ 5 - Kids (6-12), Kids 5 and younger are free. Their website is: www.sluggermuseum.org
So, if you’re like me and have lived here your whole life, or even just part of it, make it a point to visit and tour The Louisville Slugger Museum! We learned a lot, had fun and it was a great place to visit.
Photo: Roxane Haynes
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