UCB Project: June – New Cardinals HOF & Museum

This month’s UCB project, as you may or may not already know, involves some daydreaming about Ballpark Village.   But not the kind that many of us have done for the last decade or so.  If you’ve not been to the Busch Stadium area lately, you may not be aware that BPV is going up right before our eyes.  Softball field grass is gone, concrete has been broken up & taken away, steel beams have been erected, the streets & intersections are in early stages of taking shape, and the whole site has really transformed over the past couple of months.

They’re paving a parking lot, and putting up paradise.

Part of what fans can look forward to on the BPV grounds is a new Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum.  The DeWitts’ personal collection of Cardinals-related memorabilia and historic artifacts, jerseys, bats…etc is among the most extensive in baseball.  Taking nothing away from the millions the DeWitt family has spent and chosen to share with us as fans, those are the kinds of things one would expect to see in a team HOF/Museum.  Exhibits honoring Musial, Buck, and others are also a given.

The UCB project for June asks the participants to come up with some of the things they’d like to see in the new establishment, once built.  All those aforementioned traditional things aside, there are other exhibits that I think would be worth adding, though, admittedly probably more so on the “museum side” than the “HOF side”.  So, I’ve put together this modest list of a few things I’d like to see.  (Notably missing from my list in this version of the HOF/Museum:  The world’s largest bowling pin.)

  • Marty Hendon’s “trinket city” on display
  • A seat cushion from “seat cushion night”
  • An exhibit of sorts that would include the Cardinal greats that are not HOFers like McGee & others in “that class”.
  • Some sort of timeline or area that segments the franchise’s teams by decade…or even into categories: Defense, Pitching, Hitting…etc  (The Reds organization has something like this in their very nice HOF/Museum at GABP, if you’ve never seen it.)
  • I’d like to see some interactive exhibits as well.  Things like virtual tours of Sportsman’s Park, Busch II…etc.  Reaching out and appealing to the next generation of fans is critical for the game’s future–a “video game” like approach is a great way to do this.
  • Show me what each World Series ring looks like
  • There’s a fantastic set of displays at Fenway, with a ball from each year, with the players from the World Series winning team signatures, bats from each year with each player’s signature on them, every CY award earned, MVP award…etc in franchise history.  Pretty cool stuff.   I’d like to see something like that as well.

Clearly this is not a comprehensive list, as there are several other things that I wouldn’t mind seeing.  But you sort of get the idea of where my mind is here.  I don’t think it would be a bad idea to go around the ballpark, and simply go to the paver bricks that succinctly describe a great moment in Cardinals history, and see how to bring that moment to life in the new building.  You could even walk in a circle around the outside of the stadium, and read the banners that hang on the outside columns to get more ideas…if you hadn’t torn that one down in 2005.  Also, I’m big on ballparks, so I think some education & history about the former and current roost of the Redbirds would be nice.  (Target field has an outstanding exhibit like this.)

This much I know:  The Cardinals are sure to do it with class, whatever they decide to do.  I doubt that anything significant (if anything at all) will be omitted from the experience.  And as they always do, I’d bet on the organization to consider every detail, and make it worth the wait.

What would YOU like to see?

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