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Reds History Museum Returns In Between Games

The Cincinnati Reds start their 150th season as a professional team Thursday, but you'll have to wait to visit their museum. The Reds Hall of Fame will reopen Friday after a top-to-bottom overhaul. Executive Director Rick Walls says it was a challenge redoing the 16,000 square foot museum.

"You create a museum that is changeable. That's what this museum allows us to do. It allows us to bring in new artifacts on a regular basis, rearrange exhibit cases, tell stories in different ways. We often say the Reds' story is not just one story, it's the collection of thousands of unique and individual stories," he says.

The museum reopens featuring all the ballparks the Reds have called home, from Union Grounds to Great American Ball Park. The display features a replica of the facade of the ballpark the Reds played in from 1902 to 1911.

"The Palace of the Fans which was used in the 150th anniversary logo, Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium, or Great American Ball Park; we've got the large items, such as turnstiles, lights, lockers and seats from all those stadiums," Walls says.

This is the first remodeling since the museum opened in 2004.

Walls says it was a top to bottom reworking of the entire 16,000 square foot facility. The original plan was to reopen before Opening Day.

"It strategically made sense not to open on Opening Day when we're celebrating the 100th Findlay Market parade and of course all the hoopla that goes around the block party and what happens at the ballpark. Give the Hall of Fame its own day on Friday, an off day. The perfect middle day between Opening Day and Kids Opening Day which is Saturday, so it really strings together three celebrations."

The doors reopen at 1:50 p.m., as a nod to the 150th anniversary of professional baseball.

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Walls says the renovation changed everything from the exhibits to the HVAC system and bathrooms.
Provided: / Reds Hall of Fame
/
Walls says the renovation changed everything from the exhibits to the HVAC system and bathrooms.
Walls says the renovation allows the museum to more easily move exhibits around.
Provided: / Reds Hall of Fame
/
Walls says the renovation allows the museum to more easily move exhibits around.