Overview

First and foremost, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a place to honor the game. When it opened on June 12, 1939 in Cooperstown, N.Y., the Hall of Fame officially became the home of baseball by serving as its cornerstone and housing the stories honoring the greats of baseball's past.

Guide to exhibits

With over 38,000 three-dimensional artifacts in the Hall of Fame's collection, each visitor can get a glimpse of what makes baseball special to them. The Museum which details the history of America's pastime, is split into three floors to highlight baseball's rich history. It is recommended visitors start on the second floor.

Second Floor

Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend is located on the second floor of the Museum. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

  • Cooperstown Room - Before starting the journey through baseball, the Cooperstown Room examines the history of the Hall of Fame and the "Home of Baseball," Cooperstown, N.Y.
  • The Baseball Experience - To set the stage a digitally-enhanced, 13-minute multimedia presentation in the 191-seat Grandstand Theater prepares visitors for the story of the game's long and winding history.
  • Taking the Field: The 19th Century - Featuring baseball's formative beginnings, it is an engaging interpretation of baseball's early years.
  • 20th Century Baseball Time Line -  An exploration of baseball's history by generation, it details baseball's notable players, legendary teams and historic moments, including special exhibit space given to important stories including:
  • Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend - Presents the story of the Sultan of Swat in scrapbook form, taking the visitor from Ruth’s earliest days to his peak as a player and through his post-career life as one of America’s most beloved figures. 
  • Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball - This space salutes the roles women have played in baseball at every level.
  • Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience - An exhibit detailing the history of African-Americans in baseball, from the Civil War through major league and beyond.
  • ¡Viva Baseball! - Opened in 2009, this interactive exhibit is dedicated to baseball in the Caribbean Basin countries.
  • Today's Game - Capturing memories and milestones from the last several years, it features a locker containing recent artifacts for each of the 30 major league teams and a display with items from the most recent baseball season.
  • Diamond Mines - Did you know that we have an online version of Scouts? Not just the database, but images of the artifacts and text from the exhibit?

Third Floor

Chasing the Dream contains Hank Aaron's uniform from the game in which he hit his record breaking 715th career home run and his locker from Fulton-County Stadium. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

  • Sacred Ground - Examining ballparks of the past and present, this exhibit takes a look at America's cathedrals of the game.
  • Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream - Dedicated in 2009, it chronicles Aaron's life, from childhood through his big league career and post-baseball activities.
  • One for the Books - Records hold a special place in the hearts and minds of baseball fans. One for the Books delves into stories behind these historic events and gives visitors an interactive look at the National Pastime’s most indelible moments
  • Autumn Glory: Postseason Celebration - Every October, a new chapter in baseball history is etched. View artifacts fromthe most recent World Series, see rings from championship teams through the years, and interact with video highlights from memorable World Series moments.
  • Picturing America's Pastime - The Museum preserves the historic link between photography and baseball with more than 250,000 original photographs in the Museum’s photo archive. Picturing America’s Pastime features more than 50 photographic images showing the incredible breadth and depth of this unique collection. Learn more about the exhibit
  • Osvaldo Salas’ American Baseball Photographs - The exhibition features the American baseball photographs of the internationally-acclaimed Cuban photojournalist Osvaldo Salas (1914-1992). Highlighting the new faces of Major League Baseball in the decade following integration, the exhibition celebrates the influx of Latin and African-American players into the game after Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier in 1947.

First Floor

  • Learning Center - This space is used for education based programming, including hands-on learning and special events. Information for programs going on can be found on information screens in the Museum lobby.
  • Art of Baseball - The sport is an inspiration for many creative outlets, some of which have made their way to Cooperstown.
  • Hall of Fame Gallery - This is where all the bronze plaques for all 297 Hall of Famers are housed.
  • Baseball at the Movies - Hollywood's fascination with baseball has been captured in hundreds of films.
  • Scribes and Mikemen - Honors the greatest journalists to broadcast and write about the national pastime. It also houses the award winners for the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually for broadcasting excellence, and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, presented annually for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
  • Bullpen Theater - Public programs of all sorts and other activities are held in this special presentation space with vast multimedia capabilities.
  • Sandlot Kids' Clubhouse - Designed with children in mind, there are plenty of activities for young baseball fans.