By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Jul 31, 2007 at 5:24 AM

If you love baseball history, or are just a fan of the game in Wisconsin, you'll want to take in a couple exhibits that will run until early December.

The Milwaukee County Historical Society, 910 N. Old World 3rd St., recently opened "Major League Milwaukee: Braves, Brewers, Baseball," which runs through Dec. 2.

At the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison, an exhibit called "World Series Wisconsin" opened July 17 and ends Dec. 1. More than 200 items, some very rare, are included in the exhibit at the museum, 30 N. Carroll St., on the Capitol Square.

"We worked with the Brewers, Major League Baseball and collectors in Wisconsin and all over the world," said John Lemke of the Historical Museum. "We purchased some of the items and others are on loan from collectors."

A signed Hank Aaron jersey came from a collector as far away as Hong Kong. Troy Kinunen, a sports collectibles expert from Milwaukee, helped round up many of the items from collectors. All American Sports on National Avenue is a major contributor of items.

For somebody who lived through the two World Series in Wisconsin, the exhibit offers as trip back in time. Yet, a younger fan, who might not have been alive when the Braves won it all in ‘57, or barely remembers the Brewers in '82, can learn a lot from the exhibit.

The historians have done a wonderful job of summarizing in text the events which relate to the artifacts, photos and other items in the exhibit.

Tapes of the ‘57 and ‘82 World Series run in the background while you view artistically arranged scenes. "You really get a feel for what these teams meant to the state," Lemke said. "The Braves in 1957 were as big or bigger than the Packers in the ‘90s, and Eddie Mathews was as big a star as Brett Favre."

"You can find out more about the legend of Bushville," Lemke said. "It stems back to Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and some remarks by the Yankees when they were greeted by a crowd at the train station.

"There are other anecdotes and stories that now have become legends. We had so many people help collect this information as well as the artifacts."

The Evjue Foundation, Chet Krause, Miller Brewing, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. MLB and Red Schoendienst (former Braves second baseman) are listed as supporters of the exhibit. "We contacted Mr. Schoendienst about uniform, and he also sent a check," Lemke said.

Lemke said the exhibit is drawing a steady stream of viewers in its early stages. "We're seeing a lot of families," he added.

Several programs are planned related to the exhibit. On July 22, Johnny Logan and other former players spoke at a fundraising event.

On Aug. 10, the film, "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North," will be shown. On Aug. 15, a sports memorabilia seminar will be held with Troy Kinunen and Dave Bushing will be held. Information on these and other programs can be seen at the Historical Museum Web site,

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.