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“Can't wait to return and we haven't left Cooperstown”

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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$225.00*
and up
Viator VIP: National Baseball Hall of Fame Private Museum Tour
Ranked #1 of 34 things to do in Cooperstown
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The National Baseball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit committed to preserving the history of America's pastime and celebrating the legendary players, managers, umpires and executives who have made the game a fan favorite for more than a century. Preserving History. Honoring Excellence. Connecting Generations.
Vineland, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Can't wait to return and we haven't left Cooperstown”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2013

My husband is a lifelong baseball fan who has turned me and our grandson into Phillies' fanatics! We are in Cooperstown as I write this and have enjoyed every moment of our time at the hall. We have become members of the Hall of Fame and already planning our next trip. The memorabilia is beautifully displayed, the hall immaculate, and Cooperstown is awesome! We enjoyed perusing the museum gift shop and the theatre is amazing! A MUST FOR ANY BASEBALL FAN! I recommend the Cooperstown Country Inn and Suites for lodging.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Eleanor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not to be missed.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

For a baseball fan, this is heaven. Even someone who doesn't follow the sport will enjoy the stories and the artifacts. The people working there were very pleasant indeed.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Christine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great family vaca for the baseball fan!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

If you are a baseball fan, this is a must see! It's huge, with room after room, & floor after floor of really cool stuff. Everything is broken out by "category". You can lost for days! As a matter of fact I recommend taking 2 days to see everything! It's all so family friendly - engaging both the boy & the girl in our family! My favorite rooms were; Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, The All American Girls Baseball League, & The No Hitters. The museum has done such a great job!! We've actually been twice, and both times it was being improved on, and ever changing. Lots of staff walking around to help & talk. The Town has so embraced the baseball life, every store or restaurant you go in will be filled with memorabilia!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank 4soxfans76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
54 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“I cried”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

For those of us who grew up when baseball was still king. When baseball on the radio was the soundtrack of summer. When the All Star Game and the World Series were must see TV, and day games. Before cable and 24 hour sports, and highlight reel overkill. Before expansion, wild cards, and playoffs. When going to the ballgame was the summer highlight, and spent in a grand old ballpark.

For us, this is hallowed ground. A place filled with memories and ghosts. Of stories told from generation to generation. Father to son to grandson.

Walking into the Gallery, with the plaques of the enshrined immortals, is like walking into a cathedral. Even kids quiet down, know they are someplace special. 150 years of baseball greats, now including - finally - the great African American players denied their place in the game for so many years.

This room is where the ghosts live. I grew up in Detroit; my baseball was handed down and shared with my father and grandfather. From Ty Cobb to Gehringer and Greenberg to George Kell to Al Kaline to Sparky Anderson. Living in Boston for 30 years it has been sharing baseball with my wife's family; from Joe Cronin to Ted Williams to Rice and Eckersley.

Memories. Afternoons with my father or grandfather at (why don't they still play there) Tiger Stadium. Learning how to keep score, learning how to watch the game, hoping to catch a ball, or an autograph after the game. Of the late great Ernie Harwell on the radio, and Kell on the TV once a week.

Upstairs are more memories. The stuff of baseball is here. It is the Smithsonian of baseball, going back over 150 years. The stuff of the memories. The Negro Leagues have their section, and their stuff and stars get their due finally. Women have a place. The old ball parks. Babe Ruth gets special prominence. Fenway's centennial as well.

There is a room, with a locker room theme, that shows the stuff - the memories - of every major league team.

For me the Hall is a very moving place.

But that said, I think it can be better. Its a little old school. Stuff in cases. But I don't think it effectively tells the story of baseball, or gives a real for the game as it evolved over the years.

The movie is a joke, skip it. Where's Ken Burns when we need him? The Cooperstown room pays homage to the Abner Doubleday myth and the local sponsors; better to use the space for the real history of baseball as it evolved up through the Civil War and the start of pro ball. Massachusetts rules anyone? Even if Doubleday invented baseball in 1839, it was not the game we enjoy today.

The saddest part is the almost complete lack of audio visual. Baseball has classic moments, moments that are classic because of radio or TV, or even newsreel. Baseball has had great broadcasters. Many memories are in those voices and videos. Gehrig's farewell. Bobby Thompson's home run. Willie Mays' catch. Sixth Games in '75 and (alas) '86. Hell, even Bucky F'in Dent's home run. But you would be hard pressed to find any audio or video of these, or any other, baseball moments.

My biggest WTF involves the great announcers, in particular for me the late great Ernie Harwell. Tucked around back behind the Gallery is the broadcasters space. It is pitiful. You stand there looking at a couple of microphones and a painting of Yankee Stadium while a tape plays of the great broadcasters, one after another, in short segments. Some of the moments are meaningful, some seem a bit random.

Ernie's is a joke, almost an insult. The first inning of the last game of the 1991 season, in Baltimore???? Nothing from 1968? 1984? The last game in Tiger Stadium? A nothing game played in Baltimore??? And i had to stand there for, what, 15-20 minutes to hear it?

There has to be a way to bring the audio video artifacts and memories to the public, and customizeable. Some way for people to watch and listen to their memories.

Last beef. This is about major league baseball, and mostly white major league baseball. While it has done a good job of including the Negro Leagues and women, there are some things missing. Minor league baseball. Little League, and other amateur leagues. College baseball. Softball. Baseball cards. There is a fairly empty room upstairs that has a couple of display cases on some of these, but more as an afterthought.

I realize that somewhere the Hall has a huge warehouse full of stuff, and that it cannot possibly display everything it has. But, the Hall could put things in better context, tell baseball's story better. Let me see what baseball was like in, say, 1880; the players, the rules, the stuff, the stadiums all together in one space so I can better understand what it was like. Give every team its own room; with their stuff, something of the stadiums, and those audio video moments (good and bad). Somebody call Ken Burns, or at least by his DVD from PBS.

But, these are minor quibbles in the overall experience of the Hall. The stuff is here. The memories are here. The ghosts are here. Those memories will bring a tear or two to your eyes. And that's a good thing.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central New Yorker
Level Contributor
81 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“For the Love of the Game”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

If you grew up with baseball then this is a must visit. The hall is beautifully designed in a beautiful setting in Cooperstown. The heroes that we grew up watching are enshrined here, their amazing stories complete with pictures and videos are exhibited, In the village you will often find HOF members signing books and autographs. Great day/weekend visit.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Gillylax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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