See Neil Armstrong’s space suit at the ballpark

At the U.S. Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia, a player swings a baseball bat in a B.F. Goodrich Mark IV spacesuit. Courtesy Smithsonian Institution

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum has launched “Apollo at the Park,” a project that will place 15 replica statues of Neil Armstrong’s iconic Apollo 11 spacesuit in major league ballparks across country.

National Park in Washington, D.C. got its statue this week.

Here are the rest of the team parks where statues will appear this summer at part of Apollo at the Park.

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Houston Astros
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Yankees
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Tampa Bay Rays

What’s the connection between space and baseball and that photo above? According to the Smithsonian:

In the late 1950s, workers at the U.S. Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia took to a makeshift field in some interesting uniforms — B.F. Goodrich Mark IV spacesuits. The game was staged as a flexibility demonstration for the spacesuit.  The final score of the baseball game is unknown, but the Mark IV would evolve to become the original Project Mercury spacesuit, a definite home run!

And for stats fans, the National Air & Space Museum offer this:

*A ballpark stadium seat is roughly the same size at the Apollo 11 seat that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins sat in for three days on their journey to the moon.

*The Apollo 11 landing site, Tranquility Base, and the lunar area that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored is roughly the size of a baseball diamond.

Basball or Michael Bublé? Win one or both.

An unlimited travel budget would be nice. But few of us have that luxury.

Instead we scrimp and save and enter sweepstakes that award travel as prizes.

Here are two contests to keep those fantasies alive.

Source: The A.G. Spalding Baseball Collection, New York Public Library


Delta Air Lines, which sponsors 10 MLB teams, has launched the “Delta Travelist” contest, which invites fans to submit videos describing their ultimate baseball dream.

The airline will select “the most interesting, creative video” and award a prize that includes airfare, hotel, game day tickets and other perks for the winner and a guest.

Enter at The deadline is May 11.

If baseball is not your thing, but jazz singer Michael BublĂ© is, then put your name in the hat for an American Airlines’ Five Star Smoothness contest offering a prize of a VIP trip to Los Angeles complete with a VIP meet-and-greet with BublĂ© and a $2,000 American Express® gift card that can be used for hotel accommodations, dining and shopping.

Deadline: June 11, 2012. Register at:

Prize: First Class tickets to Los Angeles (LAX); Five Star Service for two; an exclusive, VIP gathering with Michael Bublé; and a $2,000 American Express® gift card to be applied toward hotel, dining, shopping and more.

Cactus League at PHX airport

PHX Ernie Banks

Chicago Cubs’ player Ernie Banks checking out the spring training exhibition game schedule at Rendezvous Park, Mesa, 1950s Courtesy of Tim Sheriden, Mesa Historical Museum

A new exhibition at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport celebrates the fifteen major league baseball teams that head to Arizona each year for spring training as part of the Cactus League.

Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience includes original Mickey Mantle and Ernie Banks baseball cards, photographs, signed baseballs, paintings and other cool baseball memorabilia. Look for the display in the Terminal 4, Level 3 gallery through September 11, 2011.

Here’s a preview:

PHX Cactus Legue Exhibit

Young baseball fans getting their gloves autographed by a Baltimore Orioles’ player, 1950s.
The Orioles trained in Arizona at Panther Field in Yuma in1954 and Scottsdale Stadium I from1956 through 1958.
Courtesy of Mesa Historical Museum

PHX Cactus League Exhibit

The Boston Red Sox were welcomed in Arizona at Scottsdale Stadium I by the Sheriff’s Posse.  Ted Williams is on the far right. Courtesy of Mesa Historical Museum

PHX Yankees at Spring Training

The New York Yankees team wearing cowboy hats at the “old” Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 1951. Courtesy of Mesa Historical Museum.

Batter up!

Souvenir Sunday at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

It’s Souvenir Sunday: the day we look at some of the fun, inexpensive souvenirs you can buy when you’re stuck at the airport.

This week, we have souvenirs spotted at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

This ashtray is quite fetching, as are the Garden State mints and the Sopranos license plate;

Ashtray - New Jersey

Garden State mints

The Sopranos license plate

But who could resist these cute, baseball-team-themed holiday ornaments:

NY baseball-themed ornaments

Have you found a great souvenir while you were stuck at the airport?  If it’s inexpensive (about $10), “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please take a photo and send it along to  If you souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday we’ll send you a special souvenir.

baseball ornament

PHL Airport: Win a $500 gift card; see great art.

Whether or not you spend a lot of time stuck at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) you should spend a few moments on the new and improved website for the Philadelphia Marketplace Food & Shops.

In addition to useful information about the airport shops and dining options, the site has listings of sales, promotions and special events. And if you sign up for their newletter (Runway Style) before April 10th, your name will be entered in a drawing for a $500 gift card.

And while you’re over at the PHL website, take a look at the list of current art exhibitions at the airport.  At any one time, there are close to two dozen exhibitions to choose from. Right now, the offerings range from Doug Herren’s brightly-colored, industrial-inspired ceramics to an homage to the city’s baseball heritage.

(Photos courtesy Philadelphia International Airport)