The idea of visiting a museum celebrating the history of Boston sports may not be at the top of most New York Sports fans’ bucket lists. For the true sports buff, however, The Sports Museum at the TD Garden in Boston is a must see.
The non-profit museum is located on the fifth and sixth floors of the TD Garden where both the Bruins and Celtics currently play. The museum’s focus is on the history of the area’s professional sports franchises as well as Boston events and athletes from the New England area.
The museum’s mission statement reads:
"At The Sports Museum, we celebrate the character of Boston sports -- the unique brand of teamwork, determination, responsibility, courage, fairness, and other qualities of character possessed by our teams and athletes that make Boston "The Greatest Sports City in America." Equally important, we use this distinctly rich heritage to help build character in kids so that they can stand strong in the face of drugs, violence, and other dangers."
Some of the most popular exhibits inside the museum include:
- Larry Bird’s locker – The locker of the former Celtics great is one of the features from a display commemorating every Celtics championship season.
- The Ball That Changed History – The museum actually exhibits the ball that struck Tony Conigliaro in the eye in 1967 and led to his eventual retirement from the game.
- The Boston Garden Penalty Box – When the original Boston Garden was torn down in 1998, the penalty box used during the hockey season was saved for the museum to display.
- Adam Vinatieri’s Shoes – The cleats that Adam Vinatieri wore when he kicked the Patriots’ winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI are on view. It was the beginning of what has become a New England football dynasty.
History is also celebrated at the museum.
- Way before the New England Patriots ever existed; Boston was the football home of the Boston Redskins.
- A stuffed bear that belonged to the Boston Bruins’ original owner, Charles Adams is on view. The bear was the teams’ unofficial mascot.
- The museum also houses a display celebrating the Olympic medals of skater Nancy Kerrigan. The 1992 bronze medal winner and silver medalist from 1994 is a native of nearby Stoneham, Massachusetts.
The Boston Sports Museum has a library that includes sports film and video archives, photo files and an assortment of sports artifacts and memorabilia.
A great feature of the museum is its dedication to youth and its use of sports in educations. Some of the teaching programs include anti-bullying, character building and careers in sports.
The museum is open most days between 10AM-4PM, but is closed on game days and holidays. It’s best to check ahead when making your plans. The admission price is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors and children between 10 and 18. Children under 10 are admitted for free.
For further information, you can access The Sports Museum information line at 617-624-1234.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox are trying to make new sports history during the 2013 baseball playoffs.