As the baseball season comes to an end, there are still some places out on the road to celebrate baseball history. These are a few of my favorites.
Where to celebrate baseball history
Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation Baseball Museum
CITY: San Diego, CA • LOCATION: San Diego State University • 5500 Campanile Drive
This museum is located on the concourse of Tony Gwynn Stadium behind the third base stands. Constructed thanks to a grant from the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, the free museum features displays and exhibits honoring past Aztec players and teams who have contributed to the tradition of San Diego State baseball. Among the high points are lockers highlighting the careers of former Aztecs Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and SDSU’s Golden Spikes Award winner, Travis Lee. Along with photos, scrapbooks, trophies and other memorabilia, the museum also features a big-screen television for viewing Aztec highlights. Visit the website to plan your visit.
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
CITY: Little Falls, NJ • LOCATION: Montclair State University • 8 Quarry Road
Yogi Berra remains one of baseball’s great characters, gentlemen and ambassadors for the game. A resident of Montclair for more than 40 years, he has received an honorary doctorate from Montclair State University and a baseball stadium has been named in his honor on campus. His museum is located next to the stadium.
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center’s mission is “to educate and inspire all people, especially children, with culturally diverse, inclusive sports-based educational programming. The Museum’s programs foster literacy, as well as a better understanding of social justice, mathematical and scientific principles and the history and contemporary role of sports in our society.” There are permanent exhibits as well as special rotating exhibits featuring memorabilia from Yogi’s storied career, lots of Yankee history and a celebration of baseball the way it used to be played.
Admission to the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is $6 for adults; $4 for children and students. Programs are free with admission (unless otherwise noted). Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. As Yogi might say, one visit to the museum is like déjà vu all over again. Visit the museum website here.
Roberto Clemente Museum
CITY: Pittsburgh, PA • LOCATION: 3339 Penn Avenue
Roberto Clemente super-fan Duane Rieder restored an old engine house to honor the memory of his idol. Pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia highlight Clemente’s legacy of achievement as a player and humanitarian. Inside, the museum houses the largest collection of baseball artifacts, art works, literature, photos and memorabilia from Robert Clemente and his teammates. Visit the website here.
Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum
CITY: Mobile, AL • LOCATION: 755 Bolling Brothers Boulevard
The Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum, dedicated to “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron, is certainly personal and special, located in the original Aaron family home built by Hank’s dad, Herbert, in 1942. Hank’s mom, Estella, lived in the home from 1942 to 2007. In 2008, it was moved from its original location to Hank Aaron Stadium. It was restored to its original glory in 22 months, with the Grand Opening being held on April 14, 2010. Seven MLB Hall of Famers and the Commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig, were in attendance.
Memorabilia for this museum comes directly from Mr. Aaron, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the Negro League Museum. Visit the website here to plan your visit.
Read more from Chris Epting here.
Chris Epting is an author, award-winning journalist/photographer and dedicated road tripper. His best-selling books including James Dean Died Here (the locations of America’s pop culture landmarks), Roadside Baseball, and The Birthplace Book, along with many others that remain popular with many travelers and RVers throughout the country and world. He is excited to be contributing to RVTravel.com and looks forward to helping to lead you places you may not have discovered otherwise. You may learn more about Chris at his author’s site, www.chrisepting.com.