15 Bucket List Destinations for Baseball Fans
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Monument Park, Bronx, N.Y.
Throughout history, some of the game's greatest players have worn the famous pinstripes of the New York Yankees. From Babe Ruth to Yogi Berra, the greatest Bronx Bombers are enshrined just beyond the center field fences at the new Yankee Stadium.
Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, N.Y.
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is where the legends of the game are enshrined and a must-visit for any baseball fan. Inside the museum, visitors can view items such as the earliest known baseball jersey, Babe Ruth's 60th home run bat and the ball Cy Young used during his 500th win. A special time to visit is during the annual induction ceremony where players who have been voted in are honored for their achievements.
Doubleday Field, Cooperstown, N.Y.
Opened on September 6, 1920, Doubleday Field is just a short walk from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Named after Abner Doubleday, a man thought to have been the inventor of the game, Doubleday Field was once a cow pasture until it was converted into a ballpark in his honor. For a number of years, the field served as the location of the Hall of Fame Game, which was an exhibition between two major league teams, but that ended in 2008. Today, visitors can schedule the field for their own games or simply walk the grounds and take in the history.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
In the early 20th century, African-Americans were banned from playing professional baseball with whites, so they created their own teams and leagues across the country instead. The leagues, which operated from the 1920s to the early 1960s, featured many star players who are household names today, including Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, highlights the rich history of African-American baseball with interactive exhibits and hundreds of photographs from the era.
Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky
You can't miss the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Kentucky, just look for the World's Biggest Bat leaning against the side of a building. Once inside, guests can go on a tour of the factory and see how the bats are crafted and view historic game-used bats from Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth and others.
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
As the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (opened in 1912), Fenway Park is a must-visit for any baseball fan even if you're not a fan of the hometown Boston Red Sox. The park is packed with history and charm that newer ballparks just can't compete with. Whether its the Big Green Monster in left field, Pesky's Pole in right or the rendition of "Sweet Caroline" played during the eighth inning, Fenway Park is a one-of-a-kind experience not to be missed.
Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa
If you've ever wondered if you can visit the actual field from the film "Field of Dreams" the answer is "yes." In Dyersville, Iowa, baseball fans can play catch on the field Ray Kinsella built after hearing a voice whisper, "If you build it, he will come." The farmhouse, corn in center field and stands where the Kinsella family watched Shoeless Joe Jackson and others play ball remain as they did in the movie.
Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum, Greenville, S.C.
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson was one of the greatest players to ever put on a baseball uniform but he's also one of the game's most infamous due to a lifetime ban stemming from his alleged involvement in fixing the 1919 World Series. In 2006, his home in Greenville, South Carolina, was moved to 356 Field Street, in honor of his lifetime batting average, and opened as the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.
Bobblehead Museum, Miami, Florida
Bobbleheads and baseball have been synonymous with each other since the 1960s. At the new Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, fans can view up to 700 collectibles at the Bobblehead Museum. Featuring players, mascots and broadcasters from every MLB team, this display continuously moves to keep heads bobbling all game long.
Babe Ruth's Gravesite, Hawthorne, N.Y.
Babe Ruth is arguably the greatest baseball player to ever play the game and perhaps its most famous as well. "The Sultan of Swat" as he was known, hit 714 home runs during his career (third all-time) and was one of the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. After his death in 1948, Ruth was buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, and fans continue to leave flowers and baseball memorabilia on his grave.
Howard J. Lamade Stadium, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Howard J. Lamade Stadium is where baseball returns to its roots. Every summer, teams from across the world ascend on Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to take part in the Little League World Series. The stadium was built in 1959 and holds 40,000 people with many sitting on the hill beyond the center-field wall.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark
The story of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier begins in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1946. Robinson played for the Montreal Royals, the top minor league team of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the two played an exhibition at City Island Ballpark. The game was the first in which an African American played with whites in an organized game of professional baseball since the late 19th century. The city renamed the park Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1990 and created a museum for the baseball icon within its gates.
Rickwood Field, Birmingham, Alabama
Built in 1910, Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, is recognized as the oldest professional ballpark still in use today. The park was modeled after Forbes Field in Pittsburgh and was home to the Birmingham Coal Barons and the Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. In 1987, the Barons left Rickwood to play their home games elsewhere but since 1996, the team returns for the annual Rickwood Classic.
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
When it comes to ballparks, there are few as iconic as Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. With its famous ivy-covered walls and retro scoreboard, the "Friendly Confines" as it's known, was built in 1914, making it the second oldest park in the majors. The home of the Chicago Cubs has played host to many historic moments like Babe Ruth's "called shot" and Pete Rose's 4,191 hit. In 2016, the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians to win their first World Series since 1908.
Estadio Latinoamericano, Havana, Cuba
Baseball may be America's pastime, but the passion for the game is just as strong in Cuba. The island nation has produced several star players currently in Major League Baseball and with travel restriction recently lifted, American's can now experience the atmosphere of Cuban baseball. The Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana recently hosted an exhibition game featuring the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team with President Obama watching from the stands.