Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
|Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory|
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, a museum located in Louisville, Kentucky's "Museum Row" in the West Main District of downtown, showcases the history of the Louisville Slugger brand of baseball bats made by Hillerich & Bradsby, and of baseball in general. Inside the 16,000 square feet of exhibit and archive space, production of the bats is presented, along with historical examples of bats (such as an 1880s Pete Browning bat they recently discovered or the bat that Babe Ruth used to hit his last home run as a Yankee). Outside is a six-story, 68,000-pound bat that appears to be leaning against the museum building but is completely freestanding. (It is billed as the world's largest bat, although it is hollow and made of steel.) The building also serves as their corporate headquarters and a production facility. Around 220,000 guests from around the world visit the museum each year.
The museum features a mix of hands-on exhibits and memorabilia. Visitors can hold a bat used in an actual game from legends like Mickey Mantle, David Ortiz, Cal Ripken Jr., and more. Visitors can also stand behind home plate and experience what it feels like to have a 90 mph fast ball flying at them.
Also of note is a mural on the wall facing the Louisville Glassworks just down the street. The mural is of a shattering window, complete with a ball sized comparable to the enormous bat at the factory. The ball appears to be a hemisphere of plastic painted to resemble a baseball down to the stitches.
In 2015, the Louisville Slugger Museum was named one of the most beautiful factories in the world. It placed #12, and fourth among American factories. 
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