MILWAUKEE -- If your summer travel plans do not include a road trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., have no fear. Cooperstown could be coming to you.
The Hall of Fame Tour, a massive traveling museum of artifacts and interactive exhibits, makes its first Major League stop beginning this weekend in the shadow of Miller Park, where Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig, Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers and other former big leaguers took a sneak peek Thursday afternoon. It opens to the public on Friday and runs through July 31.
"This is some kind of roadshow," Fingers said. "I wish they would have had something like this when I was a kid. I was just in this one where you can put yourself into the great moments in baseball; you can be Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair for his home run, Willie [Mays] catching the ball off of Vic Wertz in the World Series. You can make your own Hall of Fame plaque if you want to. The history of the game is all right here.
"Anyone who hasn't been to the Hall of Fame before, it's right here. It's amazing."
Dubbed the "We Are Baseball" tour, it's a traveling circus of baseball. An IMAX theater and five semi trailers full of exhibits circle a covered stage, allowing fans to move from room to room at their leisure. The original IMAX film offers a nostalgic look at the past and present of baseball, with a focus on the youth game.
Each trailer has a different theme. In one, touchscreen videos tell the story of an artifact before revealing the artifact itself, and fans can browse through the plaque of every Hall of Famer. "History selfies" allow fans to put themselves into Fisk's cleats as he waved his World Series home run fair, or behind the chest protector of umpire Tim McClelland as George Brett rushes the field in the "pine tar game." There's a virtual reality exhibit that puts fans in the dugout as the Royals receive their World Series rings, at the cage as Mike Trout takes batting practice, and behind the plate as the Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman throws a breaking ball.
"It's the way the history is displayed and how they do it; this is really, really good," Selig said, looking up at a screen on the main stage. "There's [Bill] Mazeroski hitting a home run. There's Fisk hitting his home run. I could be here all day."
The complex is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. CT most days. For a complete schedule and ticket prices, visit MLB.com/HallOfFameTour.
After Milwaukee, the tour moves on to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City from Aug. 5-21; Busch Stadium in St. Louis from Aug. 26-Sept. 11; Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., from Sept. 16-29; and the Las Vegas Convention Center from Oct. 7-23. The 2017 schedule is still being set.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.