Designing the new Cardinals Hall of Fame

The United Cardinals Bloggers project for June is to dream big and design what exhibits and/or memorabilia you would like to see in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame, which will be built in Ballpark Village.  At the blogger event in April (covered in detail here), Bill DeWitt mentioned that the new Hall of Fame will be located in the Cardinals Nation building on the Ballpark Village grounds.  I’m not sure just how much space the new Hall of Fame will have and what memorabilia the Cardinals already have and what they are trying to purchase, so for this post, I will stick with exhibits I would like to see and some technology I would like to see at the Hall.

The Hall will probably have lots of space and lots of exhibits, so I would like to see a smart phone app for the Hall, available for iPhone and Android.  It could have a location map, hours open, price of admission, and a map of all the exhibits.  It could also be tied into a Cardinals Nation app.  I will mention rotating exhibits below, and this app could alert you to new exhibits being placed in the hall.  Each exhibit could have QR codes, which you could scan with your smart phone to find out more about that particular exhibit.

There needs to be permanent exhibits and rotating exhibits.  Permanent exhibits need no explanation, but  rotating exhibits bring people back to the Hall. If you’ve seen the Hall once, you won’t go back to see it again unless there is something fresh and new.  I will give some of my ideas for rotating exhibits below.

Not only should there be items to look at, there should be interactive exhibits as well.  Some people, including my son, are tactile learners.  They need to touch in order to learn. Some items will have to be put behind glass for protection, obviously, but some exhibits should be interactive.

Here are my choices for permanent exhibits:

There must, of course, be a large Stan Musial exhibit.  This could include the ball from his 3,000th hit, one of his uniforms, and whatever else the curators would like to include.  There should be a TV showing films of when he played.

This day in Cardinals history – This exhibit would be in the form of a  computer touch screen. You would select a date and it shows what happened in Cardinals history on that date.  Cardinals Journal by John Snyder (which I bought my hubby for Christmas one year) was the inspiration for this exhibit.  If nothing happened on the date that the visitor selected, the program would go on to the next date that something happened in Cardinals history.

Most Valuable Player exhibit – This would include information from every player that has won the National League MVP and the National League Championship Series, and the World Series MVP.

An exhibit on all 3 Busch Stadiums – This would include 3D models (like the ones in the administrative offices, if you’ve ever seen those) plus stats on each stadium like location on a map, address, year opened, year closed, seating capacity, cost to build, year built, year demolished, etc.

An exhibit on all the different variations of uniforms the Cardinals have worn –   This would be real uniforms on mannequins, both full length mannequins and bust mannequins (from the waist up but without arms).  Each uniform would have details about years worn, whether road or away, etc.

Broadcaster exhibit – This exhibit would include all the Cardinals’ radio and TV broadcasters. Of course, this would be a multi-media exhibit, with  video and audio clips.  There would also be a microphone where (for an additional fee) you could make your own call of a famous Cardinals event, which would be recorded and given to you on a CD.  If you wanted to be a TV announcer, it would be recorded and given to you on a DVD.  There would be scripts available for you to read off of.

No Cardinals Hall of Fame museum would be complete without an exhibit of all the Cardinals who are in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame.  This would include all players with retired uniform numbers, and it would include photos of players, stats, biographical blurbs and memorabilia.

Since the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, there should be an exhibit with an overview of all the World Series wins, with memorabilia, photos, scorecards, programs, etc.

If you’ve ever visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois (and if you haven’t, I suggest you do – you’ll enjoy it), you know that the museum has 2 theaters with films for viewing.   The Hall of Fame could have a theater with films of World Series games, World War II newsreels with game coverage, etc.  These could be shown on a rotating basis.  The ALPM also has life size models of the Lincolns that you can have your photo taken with.   The Hall could have some life size models of Cardinals players that you can get your photo taken with, such as Stan the Man, Ozzie Smith, etc.  These could be placed inside the Hall or outside near the front door.

Rotating exhibits would be placed in one room.  This is for ease of tearing down exhibits and putting up new ones.  Here are my suggestions for rotating exhibits:

Milestone anniversaries of World Series wins  – for example, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 World Series win.  This would be larger than the overview referenced above, to include scorecards, video footage (if available), audio clips, displays, photographs, etc.

An exhibit on all the various owners that the Cardinals have had, with biographies and photographs. This would include audio and video clips, if available.

An exhibit of all the Cardinals managers, with biographies, stats, audio and video clips, etc..

An exhibit with individual popular players – Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Albert Pujols, Rogers Hornsby, etc., which would include a  life sized cutout,  photos, stats, awards, biography,etc.  There would be one player featured each month.

An exhibit of all minor league teams, past and present – History, photographs, maps, uniforms, etc.

An exhibit of women in Cardinals baseball – From Helene Hathaway Robinson Britton to Jenifer Langosch, women have played a part in the Cardinals’ history.

An exhibit of all World Series rings – Under glass and locked, of course.  There could also be a display of how World Series rings are designed and what goes into making a ring.

And every museum has to have a gift shop.  The Hall’s gift shop would include Hall of Fame T-shirts, pens, refrigerator magnets, coffee mugs, etc.  It could also feature books tied into the various exhibits, as well as team history books.

Every museum needs a catch phrase.  Here’s mine for the new Hall of Fame:  “Rich history, bright present, promising future.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my thoughts about the new Hall of Fame museum.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!


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