On Deck at Florida International Museum
Exhibit Marks First Ever Tour of Artifacts From
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

St. Petersburg, Florida (July 21, 2003) Florida International Museum (FIM) announces a new exhibit, Baseball As America, will be the featured display December 13, 2003 through March 6, 2004. The exhibit is organized by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The St. Petersburg tour stop is the fifth of ten across the country.

“ Tampa Bay and especially St. Petersburg have baseball roots dating back to the 1914 when the St. Louis Browns arrived for Spring Training here,” said Kathy Oathout, FIM Executive Director. “This is a wonderful opportunity to see the stuff from which legends are made.” St. Petersburg has continually hosted major league spring training since 1914, with the exception of 1919, 1920 and the WWII years due to wartime travel restrictions. Over that time, nine major league teams have called St. Petersburg their spring training home.

Since the sport first took shape in this country, baseball and America have shared the same values, responded to the same events, and grappled with the same social and economic issues. See how our national pastime mirrors and influences our evolving culture in Baseball As America.

The national tour of Baseball As America is sponsored by Ernst & Young.

For the first time ever, more than 500 artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum have left Cooperstown, New York, and are traveling to the home towns of fans across the nation. From the legendary “Abner Doubleday baseball” to a promotional ball rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center, Baseball As America is packed with the stuff of history and legend.
There are baseball “firsts” like the first ball pitched by Cy Young in the first World Series in 1903; historic photographs and artifacts from Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, and a host of other heroes; baseball nostalgia of all kinds; and interactive displays where visitors can heft a bat and learn how to throw a curve. And only at Florida International Museum can you see a selection of objects from the Hall of Fame that illustrate the history of baseball in Tampa Bay.

Children under 6 are free. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Last entry to the museum is at 4 p.m. daily. For more information please contact Cozee Smith, Director of Marketing at 727.822.3693, ext. 260, 727-525-8030, or cozee@tampabay.rr.com. To learn more about Florida International Museum visit www.floridamuseum.org.

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The Florida International Museum is a non-profit educational institution supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Florida Arts Council, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the City of St. Petersburg. Other major sponsors include Progress Energy, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, and St. Petersburg Times.