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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I, Lois, do not like baseball - I know, that's an heretical statement to make as an American! Kay, however, who was the Guide for this tour, is quite a fan. Though this tour was not planned around a particular game of baseball, it turned out to be all about the game.

And I loved it!

The focus of this mystery trip was a visit to the Karpeles Museum in downtown Jax. This is a unique but little heralded museum: ours is one of only 11 in the USA.

The manuscript collections rotate among the 11 sites. Among the amazing holdings are an original draft of the Bill of Rights, an original copy of Einstein's formula for "E=MC2" and a draft copy of Roget's Thesaurus.

In addition, the museums host art exhibits and other temporary exhibitions, most of which are not part of the Museum's own collections. Amazingly enough, all this treasure trove is free and open to the public.

David Karpeles was a mathematician and professor who amassed a fortune in real estate in California. This is his legacy to his country. Our museum is housed in a beautiful Neoclassic columned building constructed for a Christian Science Church in 1921.

How does this tie in with baseball? The exhibition during our visit was a display of memorabilia concerned with the history of baseball. Some of the things on display were the original contract signed by Babe Ruth with the Yankees, examples of baseballs mitts used in the early days of the game, the first ball pitched in Jacksonville when the Suns were the Jays of the Atlantic League, scorebooks for games played by the greats such as Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb and so many more. It was mind-boggling display.

A further baseball tie-in is our city club - the Jacksonville Suns, currently the farm team for the Miami Marlins. The Suns have been around quite a long time under many different names. In 1888, our team hosted the very first Major League Baseball Spring Training. Among the greats who have played for the Suns are Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver.

So - Take Yourself Out to (your own) Ballgame - to some little known but worthy museum in your area! This tour shows what unexpected enjoyments you may find in your very own hometown.

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