CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland's baseball roots date back to the 1800s and the Baseball Heritage Museum chronicles it all.
The museum is on the historic League Park complex located off East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue.
"The Cleveland Spiders played here and won the Temple Cup- was the championship in the late 1800s. In the 1920s the Cleveland Indians won their championship here right at League Park," said Robert Zimmer, president and founder of the Baseball Heritage Museum. "And in the late 20s, Babe Ruth did his 500th homerun here."
Zimmer opened the museum 20 years ago. It moved to League Park in 2014.
His goal was to showcase America's favorite pastime and the contributions from Latin, Caribbean, Industrial, Barnstormer, Women's and Negro leagues.
"In 1945, the Cleveland Buckeyes won the Negro League World Championship again right out on this historic ballpark," Zimmer said.
Vintage photos, baseball cards and jerseys fill the museum. Guest will also see rare items.
"We have an original grandstand seat that has a decorate finial and it shows the bat, the glove and the ball," Zimmer said. "Those are very rare."
"We have a 1936 deBeer stitching clamp. All the baseballs are hand stitched, and we've got a mechanism that was used actually up in New York to make baseball. You couldn't hold the two pieces of leather together while you were stitching, so they came up with a device."
Zimmer hopes to keep adding the museum and educating everyone about baseball's past, present and future.
"We feel very comfortable here," Zimmer said. "This is really where the Baseball Heritage Museum should be- the home of where Cleveland Indians baseball really grew and began. It's truly a very magical place."
The museum is open Saturdays year-round and Wednesdays during the baseball season. The park is used for high school games, traveling games and is available for rent.