Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
The Louisville Slugger Museum: You’ll know you’ve come to the right place when you see the 120 foot tall baseball bat leaning against the building.
The first Louisville Slugger bat was created in 1884 by a 17 year old kid named Bud Hillerich. Legend has it that he created it for Pete Browning, star of the Louisville Eclipse. Browning had been in a batting slump and then broken his own bat during a game Bud attended. With advice from Browning, Bud hand-crafted the bat from a single slab of wood. The next day, Browning broke his slump with three hits and the very first Louisville Slugger.
In the 130 years since, the finely crafted pieces of smooth white ash have become famous the world over. Baseball’s biggest stars have used Louisville Sluggers and many players, professional or amateur, will accept no other.
Which brings us back to the giant bat that’ll have you rubbing your eyes as you approach the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory: This 120 foot replica of the 34-inch Louisville Slugger made for Babe Ruth weighs 68,000 pounds, so please don’t try to pick it up.
Even better, the real deal is just inside: Babe Ruth’s 1927 Louisville Slugger. Used to hit 21 home runs, there are corresponding notches on top of the bat carved by Ruth, himself. And that’s not all - there are bats here from some of baseball’s greatest hitters, past and present, including Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken Jr, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, and Johnny Bench.
Along with the bats and other baseball memorabilia, there are interactive displays, a batting cage, a replica dugout and, of course, the opportunity to take a tour of the factory, where you can see Hillerich & Bradsby bats and golf clubs as they go through production.
The museum is great for kids, too: Not only can they learn about the history of baseball and take some practice swings in the batting cage, there’s a giant baseball glove carved out of 15 tons of limestone they can clamber over and a free, mini-Lousiville Slugger for everyone who takes the tour.