National Baseball Hall of Fame
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (25 Main St., 607/547-7200 or 888/425-5633, www.baseballhalloffame.org, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily June–Sept., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct.–May, adults $14.50, seniors $9, children 7–12 $5) underwent an extensive $20-million renovation in the early 2000s. This homage to America’s favorite pastime is loaded with state-of-the-art displays covering every aspect of the sport, from famous ballparks and women’s baseball to the World Series and the Negro League.
Here you’ll find loads of history, along with such memorabilia as Jackie Robinson’s warm-up jacket, Hank Aaron’s locker, Willie Mays’s glove, Yogi Berra’s catcher’s mitt, and that rarest of all baseball cards, the Honus Wagner 1909 T-206 tobacco card, recalled at the request of the nonsmoking ballplayer.
Occupying three floors and 60,000 square feet, the museum begins with a cavernous Hall of Fame honoring the greats. A ramp to one side leads to exhibits on such subjects as “Scribes and Mikemen” and “Baseball at the Movies,” while stairs lead to the 2nd and 3rd floors, where the heart of the collection is housed.
One room honors Babe Ruth; another, the game in the 19th century; a third, “Today’s Game.” Separate exhibit cases are devoted to such major players as Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, and Ty Cobb.
A 13-minute multimedia show, “The Baseball Experience,” is presented throughout the day, while film and audio clips pepper the exhibits. Daily trivia games and educational programs are also featured.
Down Main Street from the Hall of Fame lies Doubleday Field (607/547-2270, open daily year-round), the oldest baseball diamond in the world and the site of the first official game in 1839. Originally built for 8,000 spectators and later expanded to accommodate 10,000, the field is now available for rent and is very popular among local groups, meaning that a game is often in progress.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition