At the blogger event in April, the Cardinals were gracious enough to gift each blogger with 4 comp tickets to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Like most folks, our lives are busy, and we finally got around to use those comp tickets on Saturday (8/23/14). Our family consists of only me, my husband and my son, so we had an extra ticket. I asked a friend of mine to go with us to the museum and she was very excited. We decided to go when the museum first opened so it wouldn’t be crowded and before it got too hot. I was interested to see if any of the suggestions I made in for the museum in my blog post last summer had been implemented. The museum opens at 10 a.m. daily and closes at 8 p.m., except on game nights, when it closes after the seventh inning.
While we waited for the doors of Cardinals Nation to be unlocked, we watched a yoga class taking place on the grass at the Busch Stadium II replica. It was in the 80’s already at 10 AM and I was sure glad I wasn’t on on the field. After the doors were unlocked, we rode the elevator to the second floor, where the museum is located.
The photo above is of the floor when you get off the elevator. Directly across from the elevator are the Hall of Fame plaques. These can be viewed for free at any time when Cardinals Nation is open. Here’s a photo of all the plaques:
And here are the plaques of the 2014 Hall of Fame class:
There is a video screen that you can press to learn more about any of the players on the plaques. After viewing the plaques, there were 2 displays of uniforms and mementos from the four new members of the Hall of Fame. We then went up to the desk and I turned in our comp tickets. I mentioned that I was a Cardinals blogger and received the comp tickets at the blogger event. The man at the desk asked me the name of my blog. I told him to Google “Women Who Love Cardinals Baseball” – when you do that, this blog is the first entry on the Google search results. I don’t know how this blog got on the top of the search results, but I’m not unhappy about it. The guy pulled up the blog and started reading from it. When I pulled out my camera, I was told that I couldn’t use flash. I had to play around with my camera to turn the flash off.
When you enter the museum, there is a short video for you to watch. The wall to the right of the video screen contains famous quotes from Cardinals players. You then enter the Sportsman’s Park part of the museum. There were several displays with uniforms and mementos from that period. Here’s a photo of one of the displays:
There is an extensive Stan Musial display in the Sportsman’s Park part of the museum. It has 3 display cases, and two of the display cases had drawers that could be opened that had mementos inside. If my friend hadn’t spotted the label that looked like a baseball that said, “Look here!,” we would have missed the drawers all together. Here are 2 photos of part of the Stan Musial display:
After the Sportsman’s Park section, we entered the Changing Exhibit part of the museum. This section had displays of Cardinals pennants from years past. Here’s a photo of one of the display cases:
Before we moved on to the next section of the museum, Phil and I went into the Broadcast Booth to select a Cardinals moment we would like to broadcast. You can select from 6 moments. I selected the David Freese walk off home run from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. You sat in front of an old time desk microphone and you could make up your own play-by-play. I would have paid extra for a recording of my play-by-play. A Cubs fan (why are you at the Cardinals’ museum? Do you want to be converted?) said she heard my play-by-play and she said it was really good. Here’s Phil in the Broadcast Booth:
After this, we entered the Championship Gallery. This part of the museum spotlights the World Series championships that the Cardinals have won. Each case had a jersey and other mementos of that year’s World Series. There was also a display for the 2013 NLCS. Here’s a photo of three of the displays:
After we left the Championship Gallery, we went on to the Busch Stadium II part of the museum. The display cases in this part of the museum covered each decade that Busch II was open. Here’s a photo of one of the display cases:
Before we left the Busch 2 part of the museum, Phil and I went to the Holding History section and had our photos taken with two famous players’ bats. Phil selected Matt Holliday’s bat and I selected Stan Musial’s bat. We had to wear plastic gloves to handle the bats. If you take your batting gloves, I wonder whether they would let you wear them instead of the plastic gloves? Here’s a photo of Phil:
And no, I will not post my photo with Stan’s bat. After we left there, we went into the Look at the Cardinals section of the museum. There were display cases in this section of the museum that displayed the evolution of the Cardinals’ jerseys. Here’s a photo of one of the display cases:
After we left that section of the museum, we entered the Busch Stadium III portion of the museum. There were several interesting displays in this section of the museum. There was a section devoted to the Cardinals’ managers. In this section. you could select a video to watch in which certain managers discussed how they handled certain plays. There were four display cases with certain managers’ jerseys and mementos. Here’s a photo of one of the displays:
There was a video to watch in this section. There was also a model of Busch 3, as well as an interactive display where you can learn more about any of the current Cardinals.
After we left the Busch 3 section of the museum, we entered the Cardinals Nation section of the museum. In this section of the museum is an interactive video board with a map where you can tag where you live and it’s then added to the map. There is also a display of all time leaders in various categories – strikeouts, ERA, etc. There are display cases of baseball cards, bobbleheads, and special baseballs. We then exited the museum, which took us back out in front of the Hall of Fame plaques. My friend and I engaged the lady at the desk in conversation on our way out with our suggestion for a free standing sign pointing out the drawers.
Here are my suggestions should you decide to visit the museum. Allow plenty of time to view the museum. There was a lot of reading on the display cases. You can take as many photos as you like, but you need to turn the flash off on your camera. Bring batting gloves if you have them for the Holding History part of the museum. Wear comfy shoes – there are a few seating areas, but you will be standing up to view the display cases and there is a lot of walking.
Here are my suggestions for improvements for the museum. There needs to be a docent in the Sportsman’s Park area and a docent in the Busch II area. There could be costumed characters giving presentations (How about Helene Britton? I could write the script and act the part – I took an acting class in college.). There should be freestanding signs or signs hanging down from the ceiling pointing to the drawers with exhibits. You could pay extra for a CD or an MP3 of the play-by-play you create in the Broadcast Booth. I wished I had a map showing the various areas of the museum, like the diagram below, which was taken from the museum web page. There should be a tri-fold brochure promoting the HOF and museum with a map inside. The front page would have the logo, hours and location. The right hand flap could list the areas of the museum. The map would be on the inside. The back center flap would contain instructions like no camera flash, no recording the videos, don’t forget to look in the drawers, don’t touch the glass, etc. The tri-fold brochure would be available at the museum front desk, at both Cardinals Authentics stores, the team store and the team administrative offices. It could also be made available at local hotels for tourists and the St. Louis Visitors and Convention Bureau to be sent to tourists requesting information about St. Louis attractions. Also, the museum could use a Facebook page for important announcements.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading! See you next time!