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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

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In Travel & Visitors Guide

Louisville Slugger sets up a traveling exhibit, including a demo on how bats are made, at Miller Park this weekend.

In Travel & Visitors Guide

Hillerich & Bradsby has been making Louisville Slugger bats since 1884.

In Travel & Visitors Guide

If you haven't visited the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Kentucky, add it to your bucket list. It's worth the trip.

In Travel & Visitors Guide

Tim Kaebisch's LEGO Miller Park is on view at the Louisville museum now.

Traveling Slugger show steps up to bat at Miller Park


If Discovery World's recent "Baseball – Innovations That Changed the Game" exhibit caught your attention, head over to Miller Park as the Brewers tackle the Pirates this weekend, May 24-26.

In the stadium's concourse, you'll find a traveling interactive experience created specifically for this series at Miller Park by the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, which opened in 1996 in, well, Louisville, Ky.

Hillerich & Bradsby has been making Louisville Slugger bats since 1884.

Among the treasures on display are the 32-ounce, 35-inch Model A99 ash bat Hank Aaron used to swat his 700th home run on July 21, 1973 – autographed by Hammerin' Hank – game-used bats made for Brewers Robin Yount, Paul Molitor,

Geoff Jenkins and Rickie Weeks, and a game-used Roberto Clemente bat.

Perhaps one of the most interesting features will be a bat-making demonstration using a hand-turning lathe. Visitors can see how bats are made the old-fashioned way using equipment dating back to the 19th century.

Museum spokesman Matt Willinger says the mobile exhibit is still something of a rarity.

"This will be just the second time we've undertaken something like this," he says. "We worked a series last summer at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago for a Twins v. White Sox series.

"The exhibit we're bringing to Milwaukee for Memorial Day weekend has been created exclusively for this trip and tailored to fans of the Brewers. We've also mixed in some Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia for the visiting fans, as well."

Willinger adds that many of the artifacts in the traveling exhibition have never previously been displayed outside the Louisville Museum, which, incidentally, is a must-see place for any baseball fan.

In addition to displaying the game-used bats, the exhibit boasts a "Hold a Piece of History" feature that allows fans to hold the Weeks, Jenkins, Molitor and Yount bats and pose for pictures with them.

While you're ogling the goodies, be sure to sign up to win free passes to the Louisville Slugger museum and other prizes.

If you head down to the museum check out the current "Big Leagues, Little Bricks" show, which runs through Sept. 2.

Included in the exhibition showcasing the work of Certified LEGO Professional Sean Kenney are portraits of baseball players, conceptual sculptures depicting iconic moments in baseball and replicas of stadiums including Wrigley Field. Also in the show is Milwaukeean Tim Kaebisch's LEGO Miller Park, on loan to the museum from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Guests can build their own baseball art with LEGOs, too.

Remember to grab your free souvenir mini-bat at the end of the factory tour.

"We're looking forward to a fun weekend of baseball with the great fans of the Brewers," said Anne Jewell, executive director at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. "Rarely do we display these artifacts outside of the museum and we encourage Milwaukee's baseball fans to join us at Miller Park over the holiday weekend."


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