Summer of Baseball: Reliving youth at Little League Museum
As somebody who lives close to Cooperstown and visits the National Baseball Hall of Fame a few times a year, I know the best times to go to avoid the massive crowds.
It’s been through that practice that I’ve had the chance to enjoy the museum and all it has to offer. With that in mind, I often try and visit museums in off-months or off-hours, so I can kind of mimic that goal at each spot.
Therefore, I wondered what it would be like to visit the Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on a beautiful summer morning, on the Sunday following July 4.
Turns out it was perfect.
In a beautiful way to relive childhood, the Little League Museum gives visitors the chance to see the impressive history of Little League and is tastefully done. This isn’t a museum that has just been thrown together, rather it connects the history of the game and shows some wonderful items.
Let’s remember, too, that Little League is worldwide. So there are artifacts from all over, which really shows the history. The museum also delivers with it’s different age groups and softball, giving visitors the overall picture of what Little League was when it started and what it is today.
That’s pretty cool.
Two things truly stick out to me — how many items there are from Major Leaguers who played Little League and the interactive exhibits, which allow you to truly feel like a kid again.
I was excited, for example, to see some artifacts worn by Mike Schmidt when he was playing Little League in Ohio. There was also an autographed ball from Babe Ruth, but that was before Little League (him being a kid), so this was connected to something else. There were countless letters written and displayed, including major stars, Presidents, actors and others.
The interactive area gives you the chance to do some different things, including testing your reactions on ground ball speed, catching a pitcher, timing you from home to first and seeing how high you can jump for a ball at the wall.
I did all but the running aspect as I wasn’t up for it that morning. I enjoyed each one and it’s really kind of cool to see these things working. I’ve been to many museums in my life, but I really do think this uniqueness is what pushes this museum over the top.
The tour took us probably about an hour or so, but I also like to take my time, look at things, take some photos and absorb it all. After the tour of the museum, it was time to tour the grounds.
Remember — the museum is located on the grounds where the famed Little League World Series takes place.
A short walk down the hill takes you Lamade Stadium, which is pretty cool to see up close. It’s still crazy to me that I went to college in neighboring Lock Haven and have never been to a LLWS game. But, by the time you read this, that should have changed as we had made plans for a day trip to watch some games.
It’s really nice to be able to walk around and see what it’s like without the hustle and bustle of everything.
After doing that and hiking back up the hill, it was back into the souvenir store where there are plenty of options for people to get things — and all at prices that are very affordable. You can’t go wrong there, just because of that.
It’s easy to get to, the parking (when we were there) wasn’t bad, but I could see where it could become harder. There seemed to be parking across the street, but the road in front of the museum is pretty busy.
The stop is well worth it, especially for baseball fans or anybody who has been involved in Little League.
Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum
Visited on: July 6, 2014.
Ratings (out of 10):
- Museum: 9
- Souvenirs: 10
- Parking: 8
- Ambiance: 9
- Friendliness: 10
I am embarking on a summer of baseball with the plan to hit a minimum of 10 stadiums this summer. Hopefully, there will be more than that. I will report on each park that I hit on the blog.
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