Opening Day is April 6, but for baseball fans who’ve got spring fever, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory can help—and is less than two hours away. Snap a photo in front of the world’s largest baseball bat, check out the Sluggers used by Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth, and look for familiar names on the signature wall made up of bats. Visitors can also take a swing in Bud’s Batting Cage to test drive replicas of Ted Williams and Babe Ruth’s Sluggers. Guided tours through the factory run seven days a week, demonstrating how the famous bats are made.
A collaboration with the 21c Museum, Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat, is on display now and presents America’s favorite pastime through modern art created by 16 Cuban-born artists. Open through mid-June, the special exhibition pays tribute to Cuban baseball players through history, featuring Cuban players Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Bert Campaneris, Tony Perez, and Martin Dihigo, among others. The art (somewhat literally) paints a portrait of Cuban history and how baseball has become a bridge to American culture.
Before leaving, stop by the gift shop to order a personalized bat and pick up other baseball-themed goodies and direct your feet to Main Street for the mile-long Walk of Fame to learn more about the star players who were under contract with Louisville Slugger throughout their careers. Once you’ve had your fill of baseball trivia, grab a bite to eat at Mark’s Feed Store for some of the best barbecue Louisville has to offer before making the trek back home.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, 800 W Main St., Louisville, (877) 775-8443, sluggermuseum.com