Saturday, June 18, 2011

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville, KY

Saturday, 6/18/11 - About 5 am this morning the lightning, thunder and lots of rain poured down on us. It's absolutely the reason Kentucky is so green and beautiful. The lightning show was spectacular and the thunder was louder than I can remember ever was something to see. The rain continued until about 9:30 am when we decided we could venture out to the Louisville Slugger, to see how baseball bats are made in downtown Louisville.

We told the girlfriend where we wanted to go and "walla" off she takes us, unfortunately we messed up (not her) and she got us back on track. It was great being in the downtown area on Saturday as it was pretty quiet. We found the place, with a parking lot right behind and we were off for another experience. As you come up to the front of the building there is the largest bat in the world leaning up against the building (Wills guess is a 100 ft tall.) Actually, we spotted that bat while driving to the museum, blocks away.

As soon as you buy your ticket, you are assigned a tour, we were 11 am so had about 15 minutes. The museum is fabulous, a wonderful history on a lot of the old time players, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle and so many more. They had a place where you could take, NOT buy their pictures, pictures we take, so Will chose a Mickey Mantle bat (you have to wear gloves while holding the bat) and I took a picture of him. It was pretty cool. He of course took my picture with Mickey's bat also.

It was now time for our tour and they took us through the entire process of turning a hunk of wood into the Official Bat of MLB. We all got to hold the different bats that are made for baseball players. If a player wants to use a Louisville Slugger bat, he signs a contract and receives $5,000 and they provide him with (I think) 120 bats a season. The player chooses the finish color, and all the dimensions he wants for his bat. When he signs that contract, they use that signature on every bat that he gets. Of course they had lots of players but I only remember (duh) Derek Jeter and Buster Posey. It seemed like the equipment was so old looking until we got to the CNC machine that changed the entire process of making bats into an "exact science." At the end of the tour we all received a mini Louisville Slugger bat.

My favorite story our guide told us was how the company I don't remember dates/names but here goes. A baseball player, who's nickname was "Louisville Slugger" broke his bat and a young friend of his, Bud, who's father made butter churns at the time offered to take him to the shop and make a new bat for him. He did and the butter churn business fell off and the rest is history. That same family still runs the business.

After the tour, we watched a 20 minute movie, The Heart of the Game, with none other than Derek Jeter among others. We wandered all around the museum which had a mixture of old and current players and was incredibly interesting. They also had a great special exhibit of Norman Rockwell sports paintings, many of his sports covers for Saturday Evening Post magazine (anyone remember that?) and a movie about Norman Rockwell narrated by his son. It was a great exhibit and we were so glad we got to see it. Oh and you can only imagine the amount of pictures that were taken (I probably already need another picture card already.)

When we left the museum on Main right in front of the L.S. building is a trolley stop, which is a free trolley that you can get off and on. The entire ride is about 15 minutes up Market St and back down Main St to the museum. While on the trolley, we got off and had lunch in a nice restaurant....actually we both had breakfast, our favorite meal. We rode the trolley some more, got off and walked around, took pictures of the Ohio River and lots of the old buildings in the area. Now we could have taken a tour through Colonel Sanders Museum but unfortunately (wink, wink) I forgot to get the information.

When we arrived home, Will took his customary afternoon nap and I headed out for the Awesome Flee Market (that's the name of it) located right next door, as in I just walked over. It was a huge, old barn with rows and rows of "stuff." If you ever wanted to know where to buy a Confederate flag or anything else Confederate, it's at the Awesome Flee Market. They take their flee markets serious here, there's even a food court. I wandered up and down the rows, bought Will 8 used cowboy books for Father's Day and me an ice cream and watched a college baseball game while eating it. Yes, it was quite a day. Much love to all family and friends.

1 comment:

Bev said...

just finished reading your last few days, I think I'll have to go back to bed. I'm exhausted, sounds wonderful.