06/11/2005: St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
The day of the Cards/Red Sox game I needed to kill a little time between the end of my delightful stadium tour and the beginning of the game, and since I was in the neighborhood (and since Sandy had got me in), I decided to take a look around the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. The Museum, in the same building as the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame (at 111 Stadium Plaza in Downtown St. Louis) is a repository of St. Louis Major League Baseball history.
Pictures, as usual, below the fold.
The entrance to the Hall of Fame.
Flanking the entrance are two trophies:
The 1982 World Championship Trophy
The 1967 World Championship Trophy
The red, 1962 Corvette awarded to Mark McGwire for hitting home run no. 62, September 8, 1998.
And here's a whole exhibit devoted to No. 62. The bench in the foreground is usable, and the Museum lets patrons sit in it if they want:
The bats making up this bench are Mark McGwire bats, however they are not game used (game used bats may develop tiny cracks which, while unseen, would render the bench unsafe for someone to sit on). The balls (IIRC) and bases (definitely) which were incorporated into the bench are game used, however.
Here's the exhibit on the Cardinals 2004 National League Championship season. The trophy at the right of the case is the 2004 Warren C. Giles Trophy (the Giles trophy is awarded each year to the National League Champion; Warren C. Giles was a long time National League President).
Those Cardinals players who have been named Most Valuable Players. Albert Pujols will be there sometime in the future. Maybe this year?
The case with memorabilia of the 1982 World Series winners. Including an example of the "powder blue" road uniform worn that year, one of the worst Cardinals uniforms in the history of the franchise.
The exhibit about the 1987 National League Champions.
The museum includes a number of exhibits about various Cardinals greats:
Two prints of Stan "The Man" Musial. The top one is a reproduction of a painting prominently exhibited in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY.
Dizzy Dean, and
Johnny Leonard Roosevelt "Pepper" Martin. Dean and Martin were, of course, members of the famous "Gashouse Gang", the 1934 Cardinals team that took the World Series that year. Dizzy Dean won 30 games that year (Dean is, IIRC, the last pitcher in the National League to win 30 games), and his brother Paul, who also pitched for the Cardinals that year, won another 19 (the brothers fell just one game short of Dizzy's prediction that he and his brother would win 50 games between them). The Dean brothers came through in the postseason, too. Dizzy won 2 of the 4 games the Cardinals had to win to take the World Series; Paul won the other two.
As Dizzy said, "Me and Paul can do it all." A bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.
A reproduction of a typical St. Louis kid's bedroom in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Most of the memorabilia in this room appears to be St. Louis Browns memorabilia, but there's a fair amount of Cardinals memorabilia, too.
While the museum is styled "The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum", it doesn't neglect the fact that there was, for 51 seasons, another Major League team in St. Louis: the St. Louis Browns. Here's an exhibit with Browns memorabilia.
For their last years in St. Louis, the Browns were owned by legendary baseball owner/promoter Bill Veeck. Here's one of Veeck's promotions, the "Browns Future Player's Contract". For a while Veeck would keep a close eye on the St. Louis area birth records, and give these "contracts" to the proud parents of baby boys. The certificate reads:
St. Louis Browns
Future Player's Contract
This is to certify
of St. Louisland
is a member of the sub-junior affiliates
of the St. Louis Browns of the American
League of Professional Baseball Clubs,
and as a member in good standing
will be expected to report for spring
training March First, 1970.
Signed this day of , A.D. 1952
And this is a ball used in the last Browns home game. The inscription reads: "This ball was used in the last game the Browns played in St. Louis Sportsman [sic] Park on last Sunday in Sept. 1953"
And this card memorializes the second game of the Browns' doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951. As Bill Veeck wrote of that fateful day in his memoir, Veeck as in Wreck:
The Browns, according to reputable anthropologists, rank in the annals of baseball a step or two ahead of Cro-Magnon man. One thing should be made clear. A typical Brownie was more than four feet tall. Except, of course, for Eddie Gaedel, who was 3'7" and weighed 65 lbs. Eddie gave the Browns their only distinction. He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big league ball. He was also the only one.Bob Cain was Detroit's starting pitcher for the second game of that doubleheader, and he had the dubious honor of pitching to Gaedel. Needless to say, Eddie walked on four straight pitches, mostly because in his normal batting stance, his strike zone was about the size of a postage stamp. However, the fact that Cain could barely stop laughing didn't help.
Also represented are the St. Louis Negro League teams, and one of the all time greats of that era, James "Cool Papa" Bell, whose primary team was the Negro League St. Louis Stars.
A scale model of Sportsman's Park (Busch Stadium I), where the Cardinals played until the current Busch Stadium opened in 1966. A little disappointing, in that the model doesn't reflect the colorful outfield advertising which characterized the park during its salad days. (My favorite, a Falstaff Beer ad featuring then St. Louis Browns radio broadcaster Dizzy Dean, which urged fans, "Don't fail to miss tomorrow's game!")
While visiting the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum, you need to take the time to check out the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum. Here's a few highlights:
A collection of vintage home bowling games.
One feature of the Bowling Museum is four working bowling lanes (2 AMF, 2 Brunswick). Visitors can bowl four complimentary frames, which are included in the price of admission.
Next to the working lanes pictured earlier, the museum has four vintage lanes on display. These were "rescued" from an east side bowling alley that was demolished.
Nobody was able to answer my question: was this the ball used by Janeane Garofalo in her role as "The Bowler" in the film Mystery Men?
A car in the shape of a bowling pin. This was used as a promotional vehicle by a midwestern bowling lane proprietor before it came into the hands of a private collector, and from then on to the museum.
And who could resist the collection of bowling shirts in this exhibit?
Len on 06.11.05 @ 10:44 PM CST