Louisville and Kentucky is commonly associated with whiskey and bourbon. For sports lovers, it is where Major League Baseball bats are made. Family-owned since the late 1800s, Hillerich & Bradsby have been making bats for professional athletes and fans. The museum has 35-minute tours often starting at $16. Tour the front of the museum while you wait for your tour. Take as many photos as you would like in this area as photography and videos are not allowed inside the factory.
See all things baseball with statues, historic photos and a display of bats used by your favorite players. You also have the opportunity to hold and pose with actual Louisville Sluggers used during games. The listing of available bats said Willie McCovey’s bat was available but when it was my turn to step up to the plate, his bat was retired from the exhibit due to wear and tear. In its place was Puerto Rico’s own, Orlando Cepeda’s, bat. As a Bay Area native in Louisville, I didn’t complain.
Every baseball fan knows Babe Ruth. A bat and signed documents are on display including one that states “All of my records have been made with Louisville Sluggers.” You can even see the dents in the bat!
During the tour, you will learn about the forests where the trees are grown for the bats, how they’re selected, processed and made. They are carved via a machine, sanded, polished, engraved, painted, stamped and packaged. Right now, they are making bats for the upcoming spring season.
The tour will end with an opportunity to ask questions. You will also be given a mini bat. You can explore the gift shop or hit the batting cages. I decided to take a photo on top of the limestone glove that was carved by a member of the Hillerich family.
This is a must stop for baseball fans. I have specially ordered gifts for my nephew who is currently playing baseball and a gift for my Cugino, who works closely with the San Francisco Giants. Get custom made gifts on-site if you are willing to throw it in your luggage. And I just discovered that they will have event space available soon. Smart move.
What is your team?
Would Louisville be on your list of places to stop now if it wasn’t already?