Published 11:33 pm Saturday, July 24, 2010

CINCINNATI — Just like the 1990 baseball season, the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame Museum has a display that’s good for fans from start to finish.

Expected to have a moderate season by the experts, the Reds surprised the baseball world and captured the fascination of their fans as they went through the entire season in first place and then stunned the Pittsburgh Pirates in the playoffs and swept the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the World Series.

From manager Lou Piniella throwing first base into the outfield during an argument to the Nasty Boys bullpen trio to the World Series dominance of pitcher Jose Rijo, the Reds’ museum captures the memories and excitement of that season with a display that will be available to fans until February.

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“Twenty years is not that long ago,” said Rick Walls, Hall of Fame Museum director and a native of Athens.

“People are going to step back in history. We try to capture how magical that season was. No one expected it.”

There are more than 400 artifacts from the last Reds’ World Championship on display.

Among the items is a life-size team photo, jerseys from all 46 players who were on the roster that season, owner Marge Schott’s stadium seat, the ball glove from Todd Benzinger who caught the final out of the World Series, a replica of the Riverfront Stadium scoreboard showing the final pitch of the World Series Game 2, and the 1990 World Championship trophy as the centerpiece.

There is also a theater that shows a 14-minute film with highlights from the season, the playoffs and World Series.

“We plan to have speakers at the museum on off days during the season up until October,” said Walls.

“If we make the playoffs, we might have to make some alterations in the schedule. But that would be a nice problem to have.”

Among the scheduled speakers will be Reds’ assistant to the general manager and former chief scout Gene Bennett on Aug. 12, the Reds’ 1990 general manager Bob Quinn on Aug. 26, and second baseman Ron Oester on Oct. 14.

The Reds have a contest on their Web site that allows fans to vote for their top 1990 memory and be registered to win prizes.

Fans can visit the museum any day of the year, not just during Reds’ games. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-game days, and from 10 a.m. until two hours after a game.

Off-season hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays and when the Cincinnati Bengals play a home football game.

Admission to the museum is $10 for an adult pass, $8 for a senior or student, active military and veterans get 50 percent off, and children four and younger are free.

Group rates for 15 or more people are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors or students.

Fans can contact the museum at (513) 765-7923 for more information.