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Reds’ Hall of Fame home to history, chapters, fans

Individual exhibits of Tony Perez and Joe Morgan at the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame Museum. (Photo Courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds.com)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CINCINNATI — It’s “The House That The Reds Built.”
Professional baseball’s oldest franchise has had a long and storied past. The great players along with managers, owners, media and other personnel have left a great legacy filled with highlights, records and championships.
All this led to the organization building one of the best Hall of Fame facilities and informational archives regardless of topic.
The Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame actually began in 1958 with the induction of Ernie Lombardi, Johnny Vander Meer, Paul Derringer, Bucky Walters and Frank McCormick. All were members of the 1939 and 1940 championship teams.
The HOF has swelled to 85 players, managers and front office executives, thus making it the largest team hall of fame in baseball.
Besides what the Hall of Fame has to offer inside its walls, it has extended its baseball reach to fans by means of the Hall of Fame Museum Chapter.
The HOF Museum Chapter is a society of Reds’ fans and baseball enthusiasts who have come together to help promote the past, present and future game of baseball. Former Reds players such as Leo Cardenas, Tommy Helms and Herm Winningham join Chapter events to speak to fans, take pictures and sign autographs.
“We are lucky in that many of our past Reds’ players and Hall of Famers love Cincinnati and we have a great relationship with them,” said Sherry Rowland, membership coordinators of the Reds’ Hall of Fame and Museum.
“We also have great relationships with broadcasters and authors who we also invite to Chapter events. We work closely with each Chapter committee and leaders to decide who they would like to have visit.”
Every chapter member receives valuable benefits and the Chapter also receives an array of benefits to promote the game of baseball. There are several levels in which fans can become a Chapter member.
There are currently 15 Chapters including the Tri-State’s Huntington Chapter. Rowland expects the number to grow to 16 or 17 before the end of the season.
As for the Hall of Fame, there are several permanent exhibits such as the “Wall of Balls” that is three stories high and has a baseball that represents each of Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 career hits.
There is a Palace of the Fans Theater where visitors enter a theater-themed as an old ballpark with seating for 90 visitors in the wooden grandstand. At the front of the theater is a replica of the scoreboard at Crosley Field.
The HOF does updates and changes all the time throughout the year with its available or newly obtained artifacts.
“We have a radio booth where people can call their own plays and enjoy the feeling of being a broadcaster,” said Rowland.
“Technology is important to us as we move forward as a museum. You’re going to see some exciting additions over the next few years.”
There are also some touch-screen kiosks with brief instructional videos by Reds’ players past and present giving tips on hitting, fielding, pitching and baserunning.
Fans can also pitch in the Strike Zone gallery. They throw from a major league mound to a strike zone that calls balls and strikes and measures pitch speed.
There is a front office lobby with historic business documents and items related to the 1869 Red Stockings as well as a Kids’ Clubhouse for youths six and under.
“The Reds have the best museum outside of Cooperstown. It’s certainly the biggest,” said Rowland.
“We have the best fan base in all of baseball and it is proven by what we do here. We couldn’t be here without the fans and, as far as I know, we’re the only team that has not only the best museum in baseball, but the only team in Major League Baseball that has a Chapter program.
“We’re very proud of it and it proves that Reds’ Country is far and wide.”
And all the members of  Reds’ Country get to visit a pretty nice house.

Membership Levels
Reds Fan (Individual) – $50
•    Unlimited admission for one adult for one year
•    Two View Level ticket vouchers to a 2017 Reds game
•    2017 Reds Yearbook
•    First two 2017 Hall of Fame bobbleheads – Leo Cardenas & Tommy Helms
•    One Two-Day pass to 2017 Redsfest
•    Two guest passes to the Reds Hall of Fame
•    Unlimited use of the Reds Hall of Fame Batting Cage presented by Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
•    10 percent Discount on Reds Hall of Fame merchandise
•    Discounts on Special Events
•    Admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for one year
To order a membership, please contact Sherry Rowland at (513) 765-7926 or SRowland@reds.com.

Reds All-Stars (Family) – $85
•    Unlimited admission for the same two adults and same two children/grandchildren (younger than 18) for one year
•    Four View Level ticket vouchers to a 2017 Reds game
•    2017 Reds Yearbook
•    First four 2017 Hall of Fame Bobbleheads – Leo Cardenas, Tommy Helms, Pete Rose & Ron Oester
•    One Two-Day pass to 2017 Redsfest
•    Two guest passes to the Reds Hall of Fame
•    Two passes to tour Great American Ball Park
•    Unlimited use of the Reds Hall of Fame Batting Cage presented by Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
•    10 percent Discount on Reds Hall of Fame merchandise
•    Discounts on Special Events
•    Admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for one year
To order a membership, please contact Sherry Rowland at (513) 765-7926 or SRowland@reds.com.

MVP – Most Valuable Partner (Friends and Family) – $200
•    Unlimited admission for the same four adults for one year
•    Four Field Box ticket vouchers to a 2017 Reds game
•    2017 Reds Yearbook
•    All six 2017 Reds Hall of Fame Bobbleheads – Leo Cardenas, Tommy Helms, Pete Rose, Ron Oester, Dave Parker & George Foster
•    1975 World Series Replica Ring
•    One Two-Day Pass to 2017 Redsfest
•    Two guest passes to the Reds Hall of Fame
•    Two passes to tour Great American Ball Park
•    Two Clubhouse Tour passes
•    Unlimited use of the Reds Hall of Fame Batting Cage presented by Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
•    10 percent Discount on Reds Hall of Fame Merchandise
•    Discounts on Special Events
•    Admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for one year
To order a membership, please contact Sherry Rowland at (513) 765-7926 or SRowland@reds.com.

World Champion – $1,000
A World Champion membership to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is a very special and memorable package for any Reds fan. More Information »
Lender/Donor Membership
A membership for donors or lenders of objects, photographs, documents or audio/visual material to the Museum’s collection. The membership is active as long as the item loaned or donated is on display and/or in the possession of the Museum.
Benefits include:
•    Free admission to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum for you and one guest
•    Free admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY for you and a guest
•    One Lender/Donor membership card
•    Discounts on museum special programs, exhibit openings and events
•    Monthly e-mail newsletter
Please call us at (513) 765-7930 for donation and lending options.