Summer brings an influx of tourists and The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory has added some new attractions to see–and some you can touch. They’ve got some updates to a permanent exhibit and some historic baseball memorabilia to show off, too.
Aaron Bat Among New Additions to Hold a Piece of History Exhibit
One of the museum’s most popular permanent exhibits is Hold a Piece of History, where guests can hold and pose with actual bats that were used by the greatest hitters in baseball. When first unveiled almost 10 years ago, only six bats were displayed. Since that time, the museum has added more than two dozen bats. Each MLB team is now represented by an all-time legend or current star. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory curator, Chris Meiman, researched and hand-picked bats representing every major league team. The exhibit now has a total of 40 game-used bats for fans to choose from, including the Louisville Slugger bats swung by 19 Hall of Famers and 12 current All-Stars.
The latest additions are legendary favorites Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith and Willie Stargell, and newly minted Hall of Famers Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Alan Trammell. Among the current players added are recent playoff heroes Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, and Justin Turner.
“Our Hold a Piece of History exhibit was a groundbreaking approach to interactive experiences in museums. We were the first to allow guests to hold such amazing artifacts, and we’re not done yet,” said Anne Jewell, Vice President and Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “This stellar collection will get at least one more big name later this summer, and we look forward to unveiling that in July,” she added.
Along with the new additions to the museum’s permanent Hold a Piece of History exhibit, a special temporary show entitled, Heavy Hitters 100th, is now on display.
Heavy Hitters 100th Celebration
Hillerich & Bradsby Co. started making Louisville Slugger bats for professional players in 1884. This year marks a special centennial for three Hall of Famers with special connections to H&B: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Pee Wee Reese. Ruth signed his Louisville Slugger contract 100 years ago, and 2018 also marks the 100th birthdays of Williams and Reese, a Louisville native.
Artifacts featured in the Heavy Hitters 100th exhibit include Williams’ Silver Bat and Triple Crown Awards, on loan from the Williams family. Also on loan is a rare experimental game-used Reese jersey. Items highlighted from Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory’s permanent collection are Reese’s game-used cleats and bat model, and Babe Ruth’s contract, bat records and the 1927 bat he carved notches in for every home run he belted with it.
Along with these two exhibits, admission to the museum includes a factory tour where guests can watch baseball bats being made and see other historic baseball memorabilia. The Louisville landmark conducts factory tours seven days a week, and guests are guaranteed to view bat production on each tour.