- February 8, 2023
Regardless of the COVID-caused uptick in drive-through business operations, the Route 15 Little League Baseball Museum is not among those entities, despite the bizarre intentions of a woman driver who crashed through its front door this past summer. Today those taking the time to stop by the now 40-year-old edifice encounter a well-kept, entertaining, and
Regardless of the COVID-caused uptick in drive-through business operations, the Route 15 Little League Baseball Museum is not among those entities, despite the bizarre intentions of a woman driver who crashed through its front door this past summer.
Today those taking the time to stop by the now 40-year-old edifice encounter a well-kept, entertaining, and educational experience highlighting the history of Little League Baseball and the positive influence the program has had around the world, and the notoriety it has brought to our local community.
Recently, the museum’s director Adam Thompson shared his passion about his work and the many hats he wears resulting from his boyhood days as a museum visitor.
“I grew up in South Williamsport, played Little League Baseball, and as a child, we would often come up to the museum and visit. I later attended college at Lock Haven, and one year when I came home for the summer, I was able to get a job as a tour guide at the museum. I really enjoyed that opportunity and had a chance to work closely with the curator. I continued to work at the museum throughout college, and when I graduated, a full-time position opened up, and I got the job, and I’ve been here ever since.”
In addition to the daily operation of the museum, Thompson is responsible for updating displays, planning of marketing, researching ideas for potential exhibits, and working with Little League’s communication staff to tell the story of Little League.
“In telling our Little League story, I think it is important to honor the past while at the same time telling the story of what is happening today. The past is how we got to where we are today, but there are several new initiatives underway which can help get people excited about Little League. Hopefully, when families visit the museum, they may want to get more involved in their league back home, or if they don’t have one, they want to know how to start a league in their hometown.”
The museum first opened its doors in 1982. Thirty years later, it was closed from September 2012 until June 2013 for extensive renovations, with its focus shifting from simply telling the Little League story to a more dynamic presentation of its evolving presence.
“Updates were needed, and those renovations were a lot easier to do than building it from scratch,” Thompson explained. “In 1982, the museum had an open call for items to put on display. By 2012 we had built a nice collection that we hadn’t been able to display. The renovation gave us space to include the Little League Softball program and more items from the Little League World Series. In the past, we only honored the teams that had won. Now we have a machine that includes photos of every team that has played here, which is really nice.
“Items from the very early years are very popular with our visitors. The old uniforms draw a lot of attention, and people become amazed when they see the cost of those early uniforms was $1.25. We try to have something from every time period of Little League, so when people go through, it will trigger a memory of what they experienced when they played Little League. Those trips down memory lane are important to people.”
The days leading up to the World Series and the Series itself account for the museum’s biggest traffic, with April through October drawing consistent visitors. In the spring, the museum is a popular stop for school field trips, and the fall attracts folks drawn by the publicity surrounding the annual World Series. This month Little League is working on a marketing plan aimed at increasing year-round visitation.
“Lamade Stadium is something most people want to see when they come here,” Thompson added. “As part of the museum experience, we have developed an audio tour for the outside so people can access the audio on their cell phone as they go to different areas of the complex and learn about the history of the program as they go.”
Similar to a parent looking out for their children, Thompson is proud of what the museum has to offer but admits to having a favorite display this year.
“Each year, something comes up that I really enjoy, but this year we had the opportunity to have every player from this year’s World Series sign a baseball bat. It is a big baseball bat that we have on display. It was a last-minute idea that came together during the Series, and it was really neat to see the kids sign the bat and then their parents coming in to find their child’s signature on the bat. It was special to me because it was the first year back after the pandemic when things got back to somewhat normal, and it was the 75th anniversary of the World Series. To see that excitement and the interest in that big bat has been special to me.”
The museum is open for events in the evening for organizations to host clients or seminars. Little League is also working closely with bus companies to attract tours passing thru the area. The museum is open Thursday thru Monday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Upon request, guests would be accompanied on Tuesday and Wednesday for special tours. Admission prices are $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for Senior Citizens, and the youth rate for children 4-16 is $4.00.
For additional information, the museum can be reached at 570-326-3607.