A Few Days For Ourselves
This long weekend is our first real time just for ourselves since our Ireland trip last year. For this trip we had no meetings or family obligations.
We had not made any plans for our trip beyond Sleep, Eat, Nap, Eat, Sleep, etc – plus two actual things to do that would require putting on our shoes.
Open since 2005, the Ali Center is one of the best designed and run institutions like this that I have ever seen. I hesitate to label it as strictly a museum. It is really a living and breathing examination of the Man and his life, both inside and outside of the Boxing Ring.
Ali was, in many ways, a controversial figure, but he was also an example of a life well lived. Despite the Show Biz aspects of his life as a Boxer, where he was a brash and bigger than life figure, he was a different person after he hung up the gloves. In the years after leaving his sport he became a relatively quiet man who still held the spotlight worldwide.
If you find yourself in Louisville I heartily recommend visiting the Ali Center. You’ll thank me.
Our only other planned destination in Louisville was just a few blocks from the Ali Center – the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. It is hard to miss it. It is the only building with a multi-story baseball bat by the front door.
This year they will produce two million baseball bats there. They also produce about forty thousand pounds of sawdust every month. That is close to what I did in my Junior High School Wood Shop.
Because it is a working factory you will see how all of those bats are made in a 30 minute guided tour taking the pieces of wood from tree to Louisville Sluggers. They have been making bats since the mid 1880s. Back then each bat was handmade, taking a half hour to complete. Now, with computer guided machinery, a new bat is turned out every thirty seconds.
The museum part of the building is a love song to Baseball and its history. Where else can a fan get to handle the bats used by the Greats of the Game? Here is a picture of me standing by Babe Ruth. That’s me on the right. The other picture is my wife, the lovely and Southpawed, Dawn, holding a bat used by Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.
For us, this trip to the Louvre of the Baseball Bat, was tingle producing. Here we got to handle some of the relics of the Game. To me these relics are much cooler than a lot of the relics we saw in Ireland. It would be very upsetting if I went to Louisville and saw Ted Williams’ index finger in a glass case.
This is another place I would suggest if you visit Louisville. Both the Ali Center and the Louisville Slugger Factory are family friendly and will have you smiling. Go. Enjoy.
Buy a T-Shirt.