PLEASE NOTE: The Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is currently closed. While progress continues for a new home, please enjoy this website and its virtual look at the team's collection and history. If you're planning a visit to St. Louis and had intended on visiting the Museum, consider taking a Busch Stadium Tour as it provides an inside look at the ballpark and includes a sampling of items from the Museum. Purchase tickets HERE.
For more information about Ballpark Village, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Cardinals Nation Restaurant, please click here.
When August A. Busch, Jr. envisioned the new stadium in downtown St. Louis, he promoted the venue as not just a sports stadium, but a civic center that would feature other attractions such as the circus and concerts. The Civic Center Redevelopment Corporation (a majority stockholder) worked with an advisory board to link with the sports community in establishing an attraction that would highlight some of the city's greatest athletes; thus creating the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame which opened on June 20, 1968. The museum was located on the field box level overlooking left field. It was combined with the Cardinals gift shop and year-round stadium tours departed from the location.
Sports organizations in the community developed displays of their memorabilia to exhibit in the Sports Hall of Fame, including baseball, football, hockey, golf, bowling, soccer and tennis. Over the years, basketball, highlights of Olympic athletes from St. Louis and even boxing and crew were added.
The museum was transformed and renovated to keep pace with the changing times. In 1984 the Civic Center Corporation acquired 100% ownership of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, Inc. Although the area for the museum was reduced, the all-sports venue continued to work with St. Louis sports leaders including: Gary A. Blase, Joseph McDonald, Marty Marion and Stan Musial of the baseball Cardinals; Bill Bidwell and Bing Devine of the football Cardinals; Harry and Mike Ornest of the St. Louis Blues; sportswriters Bob Broeg and Bob Burnes; and Robert F. Hyland of KMOX.
With the team's 100th Anniversary approaching in 1992, Stan Musial offered a significant donation of personal memorabilia spurring a renovation that followed the 1991 season. It was the right time to shift the focus of the museum to an all-baseball format as the renovation made way to showcase memorabilia from the greatest Cardinal of them all. The opening of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum on February 3, 1992, was the kick-off to a number of centennial celebration events throughout the year.
In 1997 the Museum partnered with the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, moving across the street from Busch Stadium into street-level space with improved access and visibility. The venue also included the Busch Stadium Tour operation. The partnership, which was branded as "Two Sports Halls of Fame Under One Roof," provided an excellent family attraction.
In November 2008, both museums moved out of the building in anticipation of the development of Ballpark Village and the construction of a new Cardinals Hall of Fame. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame relocated to a new museum facility on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas. While the construction of Ballpark Village has been delayed by the economic downturn, planning is underway for the development of a new, state-of-the-art Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum adjacent to the stadium. This new museum promises to be unlike anything else in Major League Baseball, complete with a Cardinals themed restaurant and seating decks looking directly into the ballpark.
The museum staff continues to remain active in research and by providing displays in Busch Stadium including those in the Official Cardinals Team Store and other clubs, as featured on stadium tours. The Museum has also provided exhibits to Major League Baseball at the All-Star Game FanFest (2009), the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial-Gateway Arch (2009), the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (2010-11) and in the America I Am exhibit (2011-12) at the Missouri History Museum (St. Louis, MO) and Union Station (Kansas City, MO). The staff continues to provide programming at Busch Stadium including ballpark tours, 4 A Greener Game: The Ballpark Experience and the Cardinals Academic Program (CAP).