Notable Sports Halls of Fame and Museums
Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326
Notable exhibits: Bronze casts of the game's all-time greats are assembled in the famous Plaque Gallery, but the Hall is also a trove of memorabilia. Displays trace the history of baseball to its beginnings in the mid-1800s, with special exhibits dedicated to African-American players, ballparks, record-holders and Babe Ruth.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
1616 East 18th Street
Kansas City, Mo. 64108
Notable exhibits: Sharing a complex with the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, the NLBM celebrates the greats of the Negro Leagues without shying away from exploring the discrimination that forced African-Americans to form their own league. "Drawing the Line" and "Changing Times" discuss the unwritten "gentlemen's agreement" that kept black players out of the majors and the early attempts at integration that finally led to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
216 Emory Street
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Notable exhibits: Babe Ruth was born in this Baltimore row house near Camden Yards, which now serves as a shrine to the Babe's life and career. Biographical details are culled from Ruth's childhood and his time in Baltimore all the way until his funeral, and there are noteworthy segments on Babe's rookie season, his relationship with teammate Lou Gehrig and the infamous Curse of the Bambino.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
800 West Main Street
Louisville, Ky. 40202
Notable exhibits: Bats, bats and more bats (what were you expecting?). It starts with the world's biggest bat -- a 120-foot-tall Babe Ruth replica which stands outside the front door. Watch bats being produced on a factory tour (order some personalized bats for yourself). See the actual bats of baseball legends. Take some cuts with replicas in the batting cage.
Legends of the Game Museum
1000 Ballpark Way (Ameriquest Field)
Arlington, Tex. 76011
Notable exhibits: Texas Rangers fans enjoy a collection of more than 100 items on loan from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, right in their home stadium. Besides a historical narrative that traces the franchise from its early days as the Washington Senators, the museum includes gloves, jerseys and more items used by such greats as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Roberto Clemente. There are also special exhibits dedicated to the heroes of the Negro Leagues, women in baseball, ballparks and the early Texas League.
Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and Hall of Excellence
539 US Route 15 Hwy
P.O. Box 3485
Williamsport, Pa. 17701
Notable exhibits: The Hall of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed upon former Little Leaguers, intended to recognize those who went on to distinguished careers as adults. Enshrinees are not only limited to baseball stars; former vice-president Dan Quayle, actor Tom Selleck, writer George Will and singer Bruce Springsteen are all immortalized with plaques.
Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Drive NW
Canton, Ohio 44708
Notable exhibits: A Super Bowl rings showcase provides a jewel-encrusted complement to the profiles that honor each Hall inductee and the artifact-filled tour of football history. In addition, throughout the summer, Hall of Fame staff will give presentations for visitors on such topics as unusual objects, greatest documents and evolution of the football helmet.
College Football Hall of Fame
111 South St. Joseph Street
South Bend, Ind. 46601
Notable exhibits: Great college football rivalries and moments capture the emotion of the game, while displays on the evolution of equipment, bowl games, national championships and football fields track its history. Visitors can also test their passing, blocking and kicking skills, perform a fitness assessment or participate in a football strategy clinic.
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
Lambeau Field Atrium
1265 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, Wisc. 54307
Notable exhibits: This 25,000-square-foot museum celebrates the rich history of the 12-time NFL champion Packers. Included are replicas of both Vince Lombardi's office and the Pack's three Lombardi trophies. There's a spot to do "Lambeau Leaps" in the kids area. And of course, there are plaques commemorating the 134 inductees. Throw in exhibits on the Ice Bowl, the Cheeseheads and much more, and its everything Packers that you could possibly ask for.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
1000 West Columbus Avenue
Springfield, Mass. 01105
Notable exhibits: The hoops Hall is not limited to documenting the legends and history of the NBA; the accomplishments of women, collegiate and international players and amateurs are all recognized as well. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to pit their own basketball skills against the greats, measure their vertical leap and try their hand at coaching and play-calling.
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
700 Hall of Fame Drive
Knoxville, Tenn. 37915
Notable exhibits: Like the Hoops Hall in Massachusetts, the Women's Hall supplements historical narrative and artifacts with interactivity. Visitors get the chance to pit their own skills against the stars with shooting, dribbling, passing and vertical leap tests, and a locker room display and "In the Huddle" put fans right in the midst of the action, complete with pep talks from college and WNBA coaches.
International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum lies adjacent to Talladega Superspeedway which is located on Speedway Boulevard, which runs parallel to Interstate 20 in Talladega.
Induction ceremonies are held each year on the Thursday prior to the spring Talladega race.
Notable exhibits: A recent addition to the museum's collection is the fastest boat in the world, the Gentry Turbo Eagle Superboat, which Tom Gentry powered to an average speed of 148.238 miles per hour around a New Orleans course in 1987. Also on display is the Budweiser Rocket Car, the first car to break the sound barrier on land, and Bill Elliott's Ford Thunderbird, which set a record for the fastest 500-mile race at the 1985 Winston 500.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
4790 West 16th Street (On grounds of Indy Motor Speedway)
Indianapolis, Ind. 46222
Notable exhibits: In addition to trophies and other championship paraphernalia from auto races around the world, the Hall of Fame Museum includes more than 70 vehicles in its permanent collection. Ray Harroun's Marmon "Wasp" -- the winner of the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911 -- is among more than 30 cars to win the race that are on display, and a 1935 Duesenberg Model JN at the museum is one of only three that were ever built.
Note: Charlotte will be the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to be completed by 2009 or 2010.
Hockey Hall of Fame
30 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ont., Canada
Notable exhibits: A refurbished bank vault in the MCI Great Hall houses the original Stanley Cup bowl, circa 1892, and rings from the Cup that have been retired. In NHL Zone, multimedia exhibits honor Hockey Hall inductees as well as active stars and milestones, and in Stanley Cup Dynasties, nine teams are recognized for their extended runs of dominance.
World Golf Hall of Fame
One World Golf Place
St. Augustine, Fla. 32092
Notable exhibits: The 88-foot Wall of Fame is the centerpiece of the museum, but visitors can also explore more than 500 years of golf history in "The Royal and Ancient Game," which also includes a full-sized replica of St. Andrews' Swilcan Burn Bridge. In the Trophy Tower, see displays of championship trophies from each of golf's major tournaments.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
194 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, R.I. 02840
Notable exhibits: Follow the chronology of tennis history from the 19th century through today along the Time Spine corridors, or become immersed in the 1920s -- when the sport exploded and the best players became household names -- in the Golden Era Galleries. The Grand Slam Gallery celebrates the only players to sweep all the major championships in one year -- Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver (who did it twice), Margaret Smith Court and Steffi Graf.
NCAA Hall of Champions
One NCAA Plaza
700 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
International Boxing Hall of Fame
1 Hall of Fame Drive
Canastota, N.Y 13032
Notable exhibits: Fist castings made by every Hall of Famer who attended induction weekend are displayed alongside such noteworthy memorabilia as gloves, trunks, shoes, robes and championship belts worn by the legends of boxing. Photography, art and multimedia exhibits capture classic moments in the sport's history, and a vast library includes books, magazines, photos and even the meeting minutes of the New York State Athletic Commission from as early as the 1920s.
Muhammad Ali Center
144 North Sixth Street
Louisville, Ky. 40202
Notable exhibits: The Ali Center is a celebration of the man as much as the boxer, built around its stated values of respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, spirituality and giving. Still, The Greatest was most electric when he was in the ring. Ali is in top form once again in a multimedia presentation of his legendary career, projected onto the mat of a full-size boxing ring, and additional video-on-demand footage is available for many of his most memorable fights, featuring original highlights and interviews.
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
191 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866
Notable exhibits: With paintings and sculptures as well as trophies, silks and plaques adorning its rooms, this complex is equal parts art and sports museum. However, a truly unique display is inside the Anatomy Room, which explores the physiological structures of thoroughbred racehorses with detailed diagrams and a glass-enclosed skeleton.
National Track & Field Hall of Fame
216 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
Notable exhibits: A trip inside the track hall is nearly akin to a trip to the gym. There are the requisite historical artifacts of the sport such as photos, shoes and even a bamboo pole used by "Dutch" Warmerdam in 1940, but there are also in-depth displays on nutrition, fitness, body types and biomechanics. The Track Hall shares the historic Armory building in upper Manhattan with the New Balance Track & Field Center, which hosts indoor meets throughout the winter.
International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
120 North Robinson Avenue
Oklahoma City, Okla.73102
Notable exhibits: The largest collection of gymnastics memorabilia certainly has its share of gems. Among the many items of athletic wear from international competitions are Nadia Comenici's 1976 parade uniform,
Bart Conner's 1980 warmups and George Gulack's 1932 competition uniform, worn when he won gold on the rings in Los Angeles. Equipment on display includes an antique set of parallel bars and the pommel horse from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
International Swimming Hall of Fame
One Hall of Fame Drive
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33316
Notable exhibits: The gamut of aquatic competition is well represented in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to displays exploring swimming history and legends such as Johnny Weismuller and Mark Spitz are exhibits dedicated to diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and even marathon swimming. Also on site are the Tripp Family Art Gallery, a collection of aquatic-themed sculptures, and somewhat inexplicably, the RMS Titanic, which features murals of the legendary sunken ship.
World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame
20 First Street
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80906
Notable exhibits: Divided into four distinct sections -- history, science, art and hall of fame -- the World Figure Skating Museum successfully dissects the sport from a variety of perspectives. While the history and science displays celebrate the greats of figure skating and analyze the physics of a triple axel, the art portion includes skating-themed works by Andy Warhol and Pieter Brueghel, as well as one painting by skaters who used their skates as brushes.
U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum
610 Palms Avenue
Ishpeming, Mich. 49849
Volleyball Hall of Fame
444 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Notable exhibits: This museum in the birthplace of volleyball (the sport was invented at the local YMCA by William G. Morgan in 1895) includes a model half-court and "Walls of Fame" as part of its tribute to the history and greatest players of the sport.
National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
405 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, Okla. 74075
Notable exhibits: The Paul K. Scott Museum of Wrestling History boasts medals, trophies, plaques, photographs and much more from all levels of competition, as well as the Wall of Champions, which lists every wrestler who has represented the U.S. in international competitions or won a national championship.
National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum
18 Stadium Circle
Oneonta, N.Y. 13820
Notable exhibits: The famous 1999 World Cup, when the U.S. women topped China on penalty kicks, is featured in one of five displays that celebrate memorable World Cups. The museum also pays special homage to eight greats of the game, from Archie Stark in the early 20th century to contemporary stars like Mia Hamm and Kasey Keller.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame
111 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, Mo. 63102
Notable exhibits: From as early as ancient Egypt, "Tenpin Alley" tracks 5,000 years of bowling history with informative and interactive displays, and the research center collection includes photographs, books and periodicals that are available even to casual fans. Interestingly, the Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame shares a building with Major League Baseball's Cardinals Hall of Fame, and a single admission allows visitors access to both.
Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame
113 W. University Parkway
Baltimore, Md. 21210
Notable exhibits: The rules of lacrosse were codified in 1867, but the game's roots were established long before. The Creators Game explores its origins with Native American tribes like the Algonquins and Iroquois, and Lacrosse Early History picks up the story with the formation of the National Lacrosse Association in 1879. The evolution of equipment over the last century is also documented in The Modern Game.
International Surfing Museum and Surfers' Hall of Fame
300 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, Calif. 92648
Notable exhibits: Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, renowned for popularizing surfing during the 1920s, is a prominent presence throughout the museum. Photographs, trophies, a bust, a surfboard, a stamp and even a hood ornament are among the many pieces of memorabilia that are connected to the Duke. The museum collection is likewise a nod to surf culture, with displays on music and movies that were inspired by the sport.